My heart is heavy this evening for it knows the intense struggle so many of my brothers and sisters are going through due to Hurricane Ike. Whether "hunkered down" in their homes or far away in shelters or staying with friends or family; they all are filled with fear and dread as they await the end result of what many tried to warn of for days. Those foolish enough to not leave the coastal areas of Texas and Louisiana will most certainly perish this night. Those who obeyed orders and never left Houston will be cursing and praying as never before as the storm of storms rips their roofs off their houses and water floods them from above and below.
Images flood my soul of Mississippi and Louisiana after Katrina. Miles of devastation and piles of debris which used to be homes, businesses and schools litter what once were cities and towns of all sizes and make up. Blue tarps are on every roof and the stench of death and rotting things fills the air everywhere. Dazed and terrified people emerge from piles of rubble trying to make sense of what has befallen them. The stark realities of losing homes, jobs and loved ones will take days to settle in.
America is not ready for what it will see in the coming days. The incredible nonchalant attitude which manifested itself in denial that Ike was anything more than just another hurricane will be shattered by images of destruction and death. As the reality of what takes place this night stares Americans in the face, maybe then they will awake from their slumber and see how vital their prayers and help will be for months and years.
No one really thought anything worse than Katrina could happen again. They were wrong. No one really thought a storm would ever hit a major population area such as Houston. They were wrong. No one paid any attention to years of warnings regarding the foolishness of building right on the coast. They will now regret it deeply. No one listened to wisdom to build seawalls high enough to protect from a storm such as Ike. They will now suffer the consequences.
God lays out in the second half of Proverbs chapter one the consequences of failing to listen to and heed the voice of wisdom. This section of God's Word could have been written today. Before you view images of unfathomable destruction in the hours and days to come; take a few minutes and read the second half of Proverbs chapter one.
Think about Proverbs one when you see the destruction that will fill our television screens for days and weeks to come. Think of how if only wisdom had been heeded, all this could have been far less tragic. Think about Proverbs one when trucks full of body bags are shown, victims of their own folly and stubbornness. People who didn't have to perish if they would have only listened to wisdom when it say FLEE.
Think of Proverbs one when the price tag is ever added up and the staggering cost of this disaster is made known. Think of Proverbs one when the price of gasoline goes through the roof due to the impact Ike will have on the heart and soul of the American petroleum industry. Think about Proverbs one when you see images of stranded people on roofs who were only there because they followed the orders of authorities.
Yes, there is no more appropriate section of God's Word to describe the why and wherefore of what is taking place tonight than Proverbs one. The lesson for all of us is one of obedience to not only the doctrine of God's Word, but the practical application of it-wisdom. Fools are defined as those who have or do not listen to wisdom.
Dear God, I pray for those who are being impacted by this hurricane. God, I pray for your mercy on those who will lose their lives due to their stubbornness or stupidity. Father, please forgive those who finally come to you in those last few minutes before they perish. Dear God, please help us all deal with the horror of the tragedy unfolding tonight and what we will see and hear about tomorrow. God, please be with, protect and help our brothers and sisters who are fighting for their very lives. We lift them all up to you, in Jesus name. Amen.