What I Learned From Hurricane Harvey
Posted by September 19, 2017on
Hurricane season is upon us. How does preparation for a hurricane translate into the impetus to prepare for spiritual trials?
On Aug. 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas and caused some of the worst flooding in Texas history. Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida on Sept. 10, and as I write this, it has yet to be determined what the next hurricanes will do.
I was born in Galveston and have resided in southeast Texas all my life. This means I have experienced many hurricanes.
As a child, my family rarely fled the storms. There was always damage, but it was never very serious.
Later in my life, as a wife and mother, my approach changed drastically. I owned a home and was responsible for the well-being of others. I had to take hurricanes more seriously and learn to properly prepare for them.
Here are some of the main things to do to prepare for a hurricane:
- Tie down anything outside that cannot be stored safely inside.
- Have plenty of batteries for light sources that can be used when the electricity goes out.
- Have plenty of water and nonperishable food on hand.
- Fill your bathtub with water for the commode and other needs.
- When the storm is bad, stay away from windows and remain in an interior room.
- Stay tuned to news sources and track the eye of the storm.
Thankfully, my home was spared from the flooding that so many experienced as a result of Harvey. But it was a very stressful situation that was compounded by many factors. At the time I was away from my husband and puppies (who were also in harm’s way). I was concerned whether our decision to stay was the right one. I wasn’t sure what we would do if water did enter the apartment I was at, and I was not sure where I would go or how I would transport my elderly mother if we did have to flee.
Hurricanes of life
Experiencing Harvey led me to consider how prepared I am for the hurricanes of life—spiritual trials. After giving it some thought, here are some lessons we can learn in order to be prepared for spiritual hurricanes:
- Tie down loose items. Are there doctrinal and spiritual issues that are not firm in my mind? If so, it’s time to tie them down! Am I actively and regularly studying my Bible so that I can give an answer for the hope that lies in me (1 Peter 3:15)?
- Have plenty of water and batteries for light sources. Our source for spiritual water and power is God’s Holy Spirit. It enables us to be a light in this dark world. Do I continually strengthen God’s Spirit within me through prayer, Bible study, fasting and meditation so that my lamp will not go dim (Matthew 5:16)?
- Stay away from windows. Do I avoid places and circumstances that could cause me spiritual harm or death? We must “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
- Chart the eye of the storm. We must continually monitor our spiritual pulse and know that our lives are going in the right direction. “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
Hurricane Harvey helped me realize how helpless we are and how much our lives are truly in God’s hands. Trials like this teach us to rely on His protection and plan.
In the future we could be without many or all of the essentials and conveniences to which we are accustomed. It is easy to say, “I will trust God when that time comes,” but judging by the stress and reactions I experienced through this recent storm, I realize I have work to do to prepare and develop deeper faith in God (Luke 17:5).
Let’s continued to be prepared!
For more insight on facing trials, read “What Am I Supposed to Learn From This?”