Remalia is a cab driver on the island of Anegada in the British Virgin Islands. I met her one day after sailing there with a group of friends. As she drove us around the island, giving us “the grand tour,” I began to talk to her about her personal life on the tiny island.
Anegada stands separated from the other islands in the BVI. It is only ten miles from one end to the other. Unlike it’s mountainous neighbors to the south, it’s highest point is only 28 feet above sea level.
As we drove the length of this flat spit of land in the middle of nowhere out in the ocean, I asked Remaila, “Have you ever been here during a hurricane?”
“Yeah, mon.” she answered. “Many times.”
“I would think that since the island is so flat, it would be destroyed by the water surge. You don’t leave the island when a hurricane comes?” I asked.
“No, this is my home,” she answered in a matter of fact way that suggested I should have perfectly understood.
“What do you do when you hear a hurricane is coming?” I persisted.
“We make our preparations, then entrust ourselves to God.” she answered.
Her words bounced around in my mind for the rest of the day. “We make our preparations, then entrust ourselves to God.” So that’s how one handles an impending hurricane.
Have you ever known in advance that some sort of hurricane was about to blow into your life? How did you handle it? With a tendency toward trying to be the “Lord of the Ring” in my own life, I have sometimes found myself trying to be the master of the wind myself.
We all tend to think that hurricanes must be avoided at all costs. We see the hurricanes of life as something evil, something that must be from the devil himself. But the Bible says that “the Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm” (Nahum 1:3). Amazingly, God can accomplish His own sovereign purposes in situations in our lives that threaten to be our total undoing.
When we suspect that a hurricane is coming, we want to run. We may renounce it as being from the enemy. We may see it as a threat to life as we know it. We often scurry around in a panic, hoping to either avoid it or at least ensure that we don’t lose anything if it hits.
Jesus, on the other hand, was in a storm one day while He and his friends were out on the water together. What was He doing while the wind howled? He slept. (See Luke 8:23) He had such confidence in His heavenly Father that storms didn’t threaten Him. He knew that His Father had everything under control.
What are we to do when we believe a hurricane is coming into our lives? We do what Remaila said. We make our preparations. We do so by making sure that everything in life is grounded in the love and sovereignty of the One we profess loves us too much to do us any harm. We give all that we are and all that we have to Him. We recognize that this world is temporary and choose not to allow ourselves to draw our identity from it. We hold a loose grip on everything and everybody, realizing that only God determines what we can hold on to throughout our lives.
Then we entrust ourselves to God. We affirm by faith (not feelings) that He is in control – that nothing can or will happen in our lives which is beyond the bounds of His authority or the scope of His love for us. We trust Him. It’s that simple. We don’t always understand. We just trust. We don’t always feel like He is loving us through our circumstances. We just trust.
We entrust ourselves to the love of One who promised to never leave or forsake us. We lash ourselves to Romans 8:28 and refuse to let go. The storms may rage. The winds may blow. The waves may surge. But we know that our security is in the love of the One who loved us and gave Himself for us.
Do you see clouds on the horizon of your own life? Don’t be afraid. The Bible says that those clouds are “the dust of His feet” (Nahum 1:3). As storms approach, simply make your preparations and then entrust yourself to God.