Obviously by now everyone has seen the catastrophic damage that has come upon Florida as a result of Hurricane Ian. This is a moment to reflect on much for everyone watching the news coming out of Florida. Early reports indicate at least a few hundred deaths and that number may climb as recovery efforts begin. From the photos I have seen thus far in what little is already getting out, it looks like a war zone. Many have forever lost everything; many are without power. Communications to Southwest Florida have in many cases been cut as have power lines to entire counties, according to Ron DeSantis’ press conference this morning, many if not all lines have been severely damaged or have been severed. I saw Port Charlotte had winds of 140+ miles per hour at one point. It is now said some areas the power grid will have to be rebuilt and it will take months. This is not including flooding and other damage throughout parts of central Florida as the storm made it’s way across the state. Having been a Florida resident myself between 1993-2006, I am well aware of the destructive nature of these storms and the damage they do. Seeing it on television is one thing; Being there is another.
I do have family in the Tampa Bay area where I used to live. Thankfully the Lord kept them safe and the storm turned course as did Charlie did in 2004 when I still lived there and thought a direct hit was imminent. As a result, I was having great concern for a few days keeping a close eye on all developments and praying. Where my family lives there were tropical storm wind gusts, but they fared well. Sadly however, many others have not fared as well and my heart goes out to them. The area that was hit (for those who are not familiar with Florida) is about 100-150 miles south of the Tampa Bay region.
As far as those who are affected, please pause and take a moment to think of them. Take a moment to reflect on what they are going through. Words cannot describe what someone feels when going through something like that. Words cannot describe what family and friends go through when they cannot reach someone they love. No words, no sermon can replace a loved one. Brothers and Sisters, appreciate and hug those closest to you. Don’t just say you love them. Don’t just say what someone wants to hear. Show it. Because in the season we now find ourselves, you never know which day may be your last and as such this is why I talk so much about treating others right. The reality is, tragedies like this can happen anywhere at any time. Sadly, many miss the memo and will not get another opportunity to get it right. I see some concerned more about when Disney will open rather than those who have lost everything or someone dear to them. Don’t even get me going on misplaced priorities. Sometimes God allows us to go through these things to show us what’s actually important and that’s all I will say about that.
To get back on point; Though video has been slowly trickling out, communications are very limited and until the satellite trucks can get in from news trucks and internet restored, only then will we know the scope of damage. It will be a day or two and possibly even up to a week in some cases such as areas like Captiva/Sanibel Island which as I recall was a beautiful paradise the last time I was there in 1991 with my parents and grandparents -and this is not including the Ft. Myers/Naples area which saw unprecedented storm surge and high winds. It’s not looking good based on what is already out to view. Ladies and Gentleman, Brothers and Sisters, keep in prayer all those affected. Put yourself in their situation and reflect on what you would want to be done unto you if it were you in a similar situation.
Separately, I feel spiritually there is more going on than meets the eye. We live in a time of great evil taking place and not to cause worry but don’t think I don’t rule out those in control being beyond exploiting a crisis for alternative means. It’s been done many times before and we will see.
Folks in South Carolina would be wise to prepare also as the storm has now moved off shore and is re-strengthening. Due to some personal attacks situations that remain unresolved, there won’t be a podcast for this week. It is a time of reflection for everyone, myself included and that’s what I’ve been and am doing -drawing in with the Lord. We are in a spiritual storm folks, not just a literal one.
That all said, may our Lord Jesus Bless and be with each and every one of you during this great time of grief and uncertainty. Please know that my prayers are with all who were negatively impacted by this storm.
In His presence,