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Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Random Thoughts and Update on the Hurricane
Well Hurricane Harvey turned out to be a much bigger event than was anticipated. For our own part, we had very little storm here. We were on a the northwest side on the very edge of the storm. We only had 3" of rain and some gusty winds. We lost one fair sized branch from a sick tree. That was it. We are very thankful to the Lord for this! Thank you to those who were praying for us.
In less than 48 hours this storm went from a tropical depression to a Category 4 hurricane over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. So much can be said about something as tragic as this. So much has been said and is being said. My thoughts don't amount to much, being an infinitely small drop in a storm surge of words and opinions. But, for whatever it's worth...
Here are some more random thoughts.
First of all, there are other disasters going on that should also be noted and prayed for. While I'm happy that people are doing so much to help the flood victims here, there have been terrible catastrophes in other places where there have extensive deaths and severe damages. Even in the U.S. there are places having bad wildfires at present (Montana, Oregon and Idaho) and they should not be ignored. But, our zeal shouldn't all be for America (or wealthy nations). Please also pray for the people suffering from floods and mud slides in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Sierra Leone. Read about it here.
Some people are apparently rather angry at Houston for not evacuating their people ahead of time. There are several things to take into account on that. (By the way, Houston is not the only affected area. There are numerous other towns and cities and areas that are in dire trouble from the flood waters.)
1. The national media and many people were completely obsessed about the eclipse during the first part of the week. Very few people were paying attention to what was going on in the Gulf of Mexico. The media is responsible for ignoring or downplaying a significant threat that likely should have been noted sooner.
2. Houston was not expected to be the hardest hit city. It is over a hundred miles from Corpus Christi which was supposed to be the hardest hit. It wasn't an easy call to make that this storm would be so big and cause devastation over such a widespread area. No one could anticipate that 50+ inches of water would fall in some areas of south Texas.
3. Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S. (not including its suburbs). The only cities larger are NYC, L.A., and Chicago. Imagine evacuating one of these cities with less than 48 hours notice. It couldn't be done, even with a great road system. Furthermore, the whole larger metro area has a population of some 6 million people. You don't evacuate 6 million people easily or quickly.
4. Many in Houston did try to evacuate for Hurricane Rita in 2005. What happened is that they were stuck in traffic for 20+ hours in hot weather and over 100 people died from the heat and traffic problems. People understandably didn't want a rerun. The confirmed death numbers from Harvey have not yet reached the traffic and heat related deaths from Rita at the time of this post.
Another thing I've seen is people blaming this event on "geo engineering," in other words, the government or other conspirators who are allegedly meddling with the weather. This is laughable when we consider that one of the worst hurricanes to hit Texas happened in 1900, long before this so-called government interference of "chemtrails" and HARP and whatever else they claim. Also, that was long before global warming or climate change were invented. I'm amused and disgusted that humans are so easily made to believe that "we" are powerful enough to cause things like this. Truly, they still are drunk on the "ye shall be as gods" line that Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 3:5)
After all that Job had said in his own defense, the Lord came to him and asked him a lot of questions that put Job in his proper place before God - as a mere human. Among a lot of other things, He said this, "Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are? Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart? Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven, When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?" Job 38:34-38
Man likes to think man has a lot of power over creation. In reality, he doesn't have nearly as much as he thinks he does. [If you are interested, here is a post I wrote about conspiracies awhile back.]
There have been lots of encouraging stories coming out of this situation. I've seen comments regarding the noble rescue work and help that is being done in south Texas. Some of the heroic stories are moving and really wonderful. But, one thing that kind of bothers me is the comments that this is the "real America" while it's put forth that the incident in Charlottesville, Virginia was allegedly not. This is a false impression and it also downplays another tragic event. What happened in Charlottesville is sadly also "the real America."
This is the paradox of this country and it has been since its foundation: that while some people in one area may be showing kindness (some early Europeans here did), others are taking what they want by force - whether land (from the Indians) or rights (as with the white supremacists and those who fight violence with violence). We can't claim that one is "real" and the other is not. Whatever the miserable reasons, the hate is just as real as the kindness. Be thankful there is still kindness and that people are willing to show it, but don't use that to claim that the hate doesn't count or isn't "real."
Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Finally, if there is something you can do to help in addition to praying, please do - for Texas, for the people where there are wildfires, for India or Nepal or Bangladesh or Sierra Leone. Give through reputable organizations if you are able.
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Galatians 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.