Yesterday I mentioned God's mercy in the storm. The storm was the hurricane that recently passed our way.
After it was over, I noticed several posts on facebook concerning the damage done. There were more than five-hundred people who lost their lives in Haiti. In case you are a new reader, I will tell you that the nation of Haiti holds a very special place in my heart. I just returned a few weeks ago from Hispaniola after a visit with my missionary friends.
And so, I am greatly saddened by the loss of life in Haiti. The people there are extremely poor and many people died as a result of the inadequate shelter that they have as they face a storm of this magnitude. They just have no place of safety in which to hide.
When Matthew passed by the Florida coast, the center of the storm stayed a few miles out in the Atlantic, causing the damage to Florida to be less severe than most anticipated. Nine folks died in Florida; four were from my county.
And so, as I read the wide range of comments on facebook, I marveled. There was an illustration that someone had drawn depicting the hand of God diverting the eye of the storm ever so slightly east of its predicted path along the coast of Florida. God's mercy.
There were some that questioned that thought in light of the many deaths in Haiti. The question was asked why God would favor Florida and allow so many to perish in Haiti. Why would God do that?
And then, still a third opinion. Someone wrote that because Haiti is, for the most part, a heathen nation, that they deserved the judgement of God by way of the hurricane. It is true that there is much pagan worship and vodou within the country, but there is a small remnant of people saved and sealed by the blood of Christ and serving the Lord with great zeal. My missionary friends have twenty strong, thriving churches in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic, and so I know of and have met many wonderful Christians in there.
The Lord told Abraham in Genesis 18 that He would spare Sodom for the sake of ten believers. Lot may not have been able to come up with ten, but I know for sure that the Lanes have that hundreds of times over. Maybe thousands. What about them?
I have to tell you that I don't have all of the answers, because I cannot claim to know the mind of God.
Romans 11:33 - "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"
Isaiah 55:8-9 - "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Okay, so clearly we cannot make that judgement. That is God's to make, and I'll not speak for Him.
But I can speak a little as to the heart of God. And I can tell you this for sure; God blesses and is merciful to His people who walk in His way. And whether in life or in death, I trust Him. He is so incredibly good to me!
Psalm 91:1-7 - "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust."
"Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler."
"Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee."
I don't know about you, but that's good enough for me! God's mercy!
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