As I write to you today, I am watching the weather forecast for Hurricane Ian on Wednesday morning. The storm has not yet made landfall but will later today. One of the areas it will hit as it makes landfall will be Estero. Estero is off of Ft Myers and has a beautiful beach. Two weeks ago today we were on that beach at the Red Coconut RV Park. We were "front row" in our motorhome. What that means is we were on the beach and our view was the beach and the Gulf of Mexico. We go there every year and enjoy the time of relaxation.
As a matter of fact, this is a picture from our stay there-
As I sit and write this to you today the forecast is for 12-18 foot storm surge on that beach. It is safe to say that where we parked will be underwater and that water will go inland for quite a distance. I can only imagine the destruction that it will cause. The force of this storm will possibly have long-term effects on that area and even the Red Coconut RV Park.
If we take the time to consider what is and will happen in regards to a storm like Ian, can we also consider what is and will happen in our lives? Of course, we can, and let's do that right now.
Each one of us has things that come into our lives that can cause great destruction. Honestly, it is not that we can help it from coming but we have to weather the storm. I am thinking about maybe a medical or financial situation that is coming into someone's life. They know it and they see it coming. They have done all they can to prepare for its arrival. Now it's here and it's time to "hunker down" but to what do they "hunker down"? The Lord God Almighty is the only harbor in the storm they are facing.
As I write this, I was reminded that this past Sunday I began a series on prayer. Using The Model Prayer as the text for the series. If you were in the service or watched online you remember we spoke very clearly about who it is that pray. Jesus said when you pray, pray like this and He started with this as recorded in Matthew 6: 9b NKJV-
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name
Someone once said that we have not learned or experienced all there is to know and experience in the area of prayer. When we look at this prayer it is not intended by our Savior to be the prayer we pray but a model of how and to whom we pray. There is so much in this first portion of the prayer to unwrap. But, this is what you need to see today.
Jesus is telling us that when we pray we pray to Our Father in heaven,... He is our Father because of what Jesus did on Calvary. Thus we have access to the Father.
There is an important Scripture in Exodus 34 where Moses is preparing to receive for the second time the 10 Commandments. There is a wonderful statement made by God in verses 6-7 reading from the NRSV-
6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
7 keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
Each one of the names God uses is the name Jehovah; this is the same as the Hebrew name Yahweh which is transliteration by scholars from the Tetragrammaton and commonly rendered Jehovah. This is the name, which God uses to describe Himself. When you see in your Bible the word LORD in capital letters the name is the name Yahweh, Jehovah.
Let me tell you why this is so important for us today. Whether riding out a hurricane, a medical emergency, or a financial set back we are always praying to the One who can and will provide a way. For some of us today and for some of us a few days ago when we were "hunkered down" we knew Him as Jehovah-Shalom, our peace. We also recognized Him as Jehovah-Jireh, our provider for whatever it was we required. For some over the days to follow, He will be Jehovah-Rophe, the one who heals. Healing in whatever manner is needed in your life.
For all of us regardless of what we have or are facing He is Jehovah-Rohi, the one who is our shepherd. He cares for and keeps us because we are His sheep and that is what the shepherd does.
So I hoped and prayed you all made it through whatever you were going through or have been through. No matter what we face or when we face it we know that His Word says He will never leave us. He said it to Moses and made an assurance to Joshua. Jesus declared it and the writer in Hebrews reiterated the truth. Throughout His Word, He makes it perfectly clear He is always with us.
Now that is something to hold onto and have comfort and assurance.
In God's Grace,