There are good things that hurricanes can do. In Florida, there were Australian pine trees that somehow had taken root in a place that hosted attractive plants which, in turn, attracted many beautiful birds and small animals. As those pines grew and got tall, they literally created a canopy over those plants, and blocked out the sun. What had once been an area thriving with plant and animal life became a stretch of sterile underbrush - until a hurricane hit. The storm literally snapped those trees in two, and the sun was back. The area is now a beautiful park with pools, greenery, flowers, herons, and lots of interesting wildlife - but it took a hurricane.

The storm blew in and removed what didn't belong there. Maybe you can understand that. Maybe God has sent or allowed storms to come roaring into your life over the years, often with that same effect. It's true in nature, it's true in our lives - what devastates can also be God's tool to cleanse and improve!

There's a picture of that in Acts 27, beginning with verse 14. The Apostle Paul is being transported to Rome for trial on a large cargo ship that's carrying 276 passengers. They suddenly get hit by a massive storm system that batters and threatens to destroy them for two weeks.

The Bible says, "A wind of hurricane force...swept down from the island. The ship was caught by the storm...We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. On the third day, they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands."

Eventually, Paul is visited by an angelic messenger. Here's how Paul reported that visit to his fellow passengers: "Keep up your courage,...only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.'"

Storms clarify the things that really matter and the things that really don't. In this case, they threw overboard cargo they thought they needed but they didn't really need. That might be what God's trying to get you to do as the storm is battering you - set some new priorities, get rid of some cargo you've accumulated, and get rid of some sin you've taken on. Just as God clarified for Paul what really mattered and his life mission, it could be that God wants to use your personal hurricane to get you to focus on the things that really matter. The ship may not make it, but it's the people who matter anyway. Maybe there are people you have been neglecting because you've been all about the ship and the voyage. Your life mission is what matters - the things God has given you to do that also may have been marginalized recently, and that too will survive the storm.

The hurricanes of God seem devastating sometimes, but He sends them to accomplish things that might not happen any other way - the cleansing and the new priorities your life needs. He's removing what's blocked the sun so something beautiful can grow there.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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