God is Sovereign…and Hurricanes Happen
As Irma bears down on the Caribbean and our home state I wanted to jet out what I believe to be a very critical statement! I urge you to read this blog carefully as I will address our immediate action as a church, our long term plan, and what I believe each of you should do.
First, as of late Tuesday evening we are still planning to gather for worship as a church this coming Sunday. Understanding that many folks will have already trekked out of state to dodge Irma, we will most likely have only ONE worship gathering beginning at 10 AM. Obviously this plan will only remain in affect if the hurricane is NOT projected to directly hit Pinellas county. We will make a final call regarding worship on Sunday by noon Friday.
Second, BLDG 28 fully plans to rise up following Irma’s landfall to help and serve areas and churches devastated by this storm. Obviously, how and where we help will be directly impacted by where the storm comes ashore. The only scenario that will leave us incapable of helping will be if the hurricane slams into our county, in which case, I am sure, other churches in our network will rush to our aid.
Finally, we do not believe God is only sovereign when skies are sunny overhead. The Great I Am is always in absolute control. He – unlike this pastor – is not wringing His hands and fretting about storm surge. He could shift the storm northward with zero degree of difficulty. And, as those who firmly embrace His sovereign power, that is exactly what we should be praying for. We should plead with Him to surprise the meteorologists, flip the script, and send old Irma limping into the Atlantic. He can do it…easily.
We also need to understand this truth: God is sovereign and yet very bad things occur. We live in a world shrouded by brokenness. I see people tritely posting on social media, the declarations “God’s in Control” and “it’s all going to be ok.” Yes, God is in control; and yes, Hurricane Harvey just destroyed south Texas. God’s sovereignty DOES NOT mean Irma won’t smash homes and wreck lives. Don’t let someone convince you that all will be well – something they have no way of knowing – just because God is in control. In His sovereign plan He gave you a functional mind and hopefully a vehicle that works. With no hesitation I would call you, my friends, to trust God in this monstrous storm. At the same time, I would strongly encourage you to be wise. Homes are replaceable; your family is not. If you decide to ride out Irma do so prudently and with the utmost preparation and caution.
I’ll finish by pleading with you to rally together in pleading before the One who measures the universe from His thumb to His pinky. Ask Him to turn this storm, mitigate damage, and use this brokenness to heal divisions, cripple hate, roll forward His kingdom, and bring a deeper dependence from us all on His person.
I love you all and will be praying. Be safe.