Ever since Hurricane Dorian ripped through my home country of the Bahamas leaving two of our islands completely devastated with the loss of life, property, jobs and for some even hope we have been in crisis mode and have a long journey ahead of us. I have not blogged in a while but the teacher and writer in me can not sit by and just let a lot of the rhetoric and hearsay go unchecked. Now it is important to note that The Bahamas is a self proclaim Christian nation and is very religious so most people will view things with this lens. This is sometimes both good and bad. God because there is a notion to honor and reverence God and bad because somethings that are natural people tend to over-spiritualize or sometimes spread their misinformed or misguided views of biblical insight. So in true Bahamian fashion since the storm subsided there has been a ma-triad of reasons and conclusions that have filled our social media, pulpits and civic forums. I have heard doom and gloom messages, the blaming of witchcraft, messages of hope, the blaming of larger nations with capabilities to manipulate storms, and climate change. So let me exclude myself as the weather or prophetic expert now by saying I do not know the reason for Hurricane Dorian. To be honest I do not think most others do either but that does not stop them from spreading misguided notions. So to help us all out I did a bit of studying and pulled some out six reasons and references as to why storms happen both naturally and spiritually.
1. To Build Faith
We all remember the story of Jesus sleeping on the boat when a great storm arose. The disciples awoke Him in hear of their life for Him to get up in what seems to be a grudging state to rebuke the winds and the waves. The very next line, He scolded them for their lack of faith.
The important thing to note here in this text besides the fact that Jesus performed a miracle was that it was not His intention to do so. He was sound asleep trying to catch up some z's for peace's sake. This brings me to the conclusion that in every storm it is not always God's intention to calm the storm but rather to calm His children. Jesus' posture was directly correlated to His belief that His Father was able to keep Him. Being a Christian does not exempt us from adversity but rather gives us a higher source of strength than ourselves in the times of storms.
Speaking with and hearing the testimonies of believers who survived Dorian made this point very clear to me. In the time of a spiritual or natural storm, the root of where faith is planted will be tested.
23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!"
26 But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, "Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"
2. Disobedient & Sinful People
The story of the prophet who tried to run from God's instruction and it landed him in the belly of a whale is a Sunday school favorite. Outside of being inside of the whale for three days most never take the time to note what happens next. Jonah finally makes his way to Nineveh where God has intentions of destroying the place because of the wickedness of the people and started to declare God's plans as he walks about the city.
And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
Important to note that God always sends a warning and gives a chance before destruction. It is His will that none may perish. Take not of what happens when we drop down to verse 10. The city was spared due to their repentance
10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.
In the story of Noah, we see a different outcome. When Noah told the people that God was going to destroy the earth, they mocked him.
Genesis 5:5-13 – God saw the wickedness and violence on the earth and decided to destroy. (God used the storm to cleansed the earth physically and spiritually)
We may not always understand or agree with men and women of God but it is important to heed because there is always a warning before any type of destruction.
You have heard the saying before the innocent suffer for the guilty. History will show that so many times biblically and in more modern times that poor leadership causes the demise of nations. To this point, I want to draw your attention to two leaders who caused their nation's victory or defeat.
Pharaoh, who was the leader of Egypt in the time of Moses, did not want to let the Israelites go and as a result, the whole nation suffered plagues because of the hardness of Pharaoh's heart. His disobedience caused an economic downturn, national inconvenience, and discomfort to a nation that was wealthy, death and the country's military to be wiped out in the read sea.
Poor leadership causes a variety of hardships in the countries they govern.
In 2 Chronicles 20, we see the opposite with King Jehoshaphat. When the opposing armies came up against Jehoshaphat he asked the Lord what to do. He submitted himself to a higher source. In turn, the Lord took the battle away from him and caused his enemies to turn on each other. His humility and plea to God saved his nation destruction. This is why as a country we ought to pray for our leaders because what they do directly affects us.
4. Man’s Stewardship of the Earth
One of the most popular opinions I heard from the storm was climate change. I can agree that this could have also been a factor for the unprecedented storm we seen with Hurricane Dorian. Through science, we have a better understanding of how the world works and there are tons of articles you can read and videos you can watch to get a better understanding of this. The key thing is we understand that what happens here on earth is due to cause and effect. God created the earth and everything that is in it perfect. Man was created and place here to be the manager of everything God had made. He told Adam to have dominion and the subdue the earth. In other words, man became responsible for this domain and given charge to put anything in place that gets out of order. When it comes to the issue of the environment, that falls all on mankind because of the responsibility we have been given.
5. A Test for the Righteous
Some storms are unavoidable because it is God's way of testing the righteous. We all know the story of Job. A God-fearing man who was living on a righteous path. In spite of this, he still went through one of the most trying accounts of personal tribulation we have recorded in literature. The strange thing is Satan did go after him until God brought his name up and God permitted him to. Some storms are unavoidable and come to test the very elect. This can be personally or nationally. Spirituality is not an escape from life's troubles. We were promised trials and tribulations. So when you see a person going through any type of storm or hardship that does not necessarily mean they have done some evil to deserve it.
8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
9 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
6. For His Glory
Afterward, as Jesus walked down the street, he noticed a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Teacher, whose sin caused this guy’s blindness, his own, or the sin of his parents?”
3 Jesus answered, “Neither. It happened to him so that you could watch him experience God’s miracle.
Now, this is the part where I get excited about the goodness of God. While some are trying to argue about who or what caused the storm, they remind of the disciples trying to figure the reason when there is a bigger picture in view. God has put us on the world stage so they can experience our miracle. Now more than ever before the world is marking the manner of our bearing. I believe more than ever before God is going to use this as an opportunity to cause men to sow into us. I believe the best is yet to come. Just as Jesus used the dirt to give the blind man the miracle of site, He is going to use the ashes to give us the wonder of redemption. Hope is far from lost. Never mind the bad that seems to be lurking and understand this one thing. There will be glory after this!
Shaquille " Young Rev" Hanna
A blogger, youth leader, speaker, entrepreneur, and music artist. Young Rev is a media enthusiast resourcing every medium to Change the Culture for the kingdom. Check out his Soundcloud, Youtube, and Facebook page to stay in touch.