(Written on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, 16 years after the day none of us will ever forget)
Three weeks ago, most of the United States locked their gazes skyward, through eclipse-glasses, of course, to watch as the moon traveled across the face of the sun, blocking it from our view for a few short minutes. The earth turned an eery kind of dark, and summer insects and birds who normally only make a fuss in the late afternoon and early evening were “tricked” into thinking it was about to be nighttime. Even those of us who viewed from a tiny hole in a box realized we were seeing a prime example of the way God set our solar system into motion during that week of creation described in Genesis chapter 1.
In the days surrounding Labor Day Weekend, we watched in horror as Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas and then seemed to stand still dumping record-setting amounts of rainfall (more than 4 FEET of rain in some places) on the residents and business owners. The photos beamed into our living rooms of the flooding tore at our hearts, and we all felt compelled to “do SOMETHING” to try to help.
While that was unfolding, Hurricane Irma was churning and gaining strength in the Atlantic. And, now many Caribbean islands are wrecked and severely damaged, and over 3 million people in Florida are without power. Irma has even plotted a course that is expected to bring high winds and heavy rainfall as far as North Alabama where I live. Schools are closed all over my part of the state today because of the desire to keep buses off the roads during dangerous conditions. I saw one graphic on a weather report comparing Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 hurricane from the fall of 1992, the most powerful to ever hit the Bahamas and Florida, to Irma. Some meteorogists said Irma made Andrew look like “an afternoon thunderstorm” because it is potentially 5 times more powerful that Andrew was. Undeniably, a HUGE storm.
We see these things happen. They stun us and cause us to marvel. We think briefly about Who the Creator is and how powerful He must be, then the crisis passes, and life returns to normal. But, truthfully, we’re not very different from the Israelites who roamed in the wilderness with Moses for 40 years. God parted the Red Sea, He sent manna from heaven, He caused fresh water to gush out of a rock, He defeated their enemies, He gave Moses the Ten Commandments, etc. etc. and, like us, they were momentarily grateful . . . or amazed . . . or in awe, and then they went to bed, got up the next morning, and life went on.
Is it possible that God wants us to think longer about His power and more deeply about what that means for us as we live our lives on earth? Here are some verses to ponder from the New International Version of the Bible:
Romans 1:20 – “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
Hebrews 1:3a – “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.”
Nehemiah 9:6 – “ You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.”
Revelation 19:6 – “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.’ “
Going one step further, the true “wonder of it all” is to realize that perhaps God’s greatest power is turning sinners into saints through His Son Jesus Christ who died on Calvary to redeem our lives and give us eternal life. Hallelujah!