Hurricane Matthew has invaded just about everyone’s world this week in one way or another. Whether you have friends or family affected, plans that have shifted, or spent moments in prayer for God to allow His protective hand to rest; the storm has hopped on our radar of life. It’s been interesting to watch this hurricane in both its predictable and not so predictable behaviors. The path of this storm can shift. If a slight change in velocity or route takes place it could put some in the path of destruction, and others free from imminent danger.
What I find intriguing with major storms such as Hurricane Matthew, is that there always seems to be that person(s) who choses to hunker down and ride out the storm. I read a statistic that 30% of people who refuse to evacuate do so because of a pet they won’t leave behind. About 2 years ago I personally would have viewed this reason as absolutely ludicrous. Now, I have a dearly loved pup of my own. My empathy has grown with these pet lovers, yet I don’t know that it would keep me anchored to ride out a hurricane with sustained winds of over 145 miles an hour. I could be wrong, but I think I’d evacuate.
Along with the pet lovers, are those that simply chose to live in denial; refusing to acknowledge that the storm will really be as bad as predicted. Chances are they have already seen a hurricane or two come and go without much impact on their personal lives. Having had that experience there seems to be no concern the new threat would bring anything different.
There are also the select few who distrust authority, feeling that there is some ulterior motive to evacuate entire communities, other than to save lives. They can be quite obstinate. I’ve actually watched some interviews on youtube with some. It is understood though, that unfortunate circumstances, such as disabilities, and/or financial restraints can leave some with the choice to stay put.
Whatever the reasons may be, after weighing out options, considering circumstances, some people take the risk. Putting not only themselves, but also others in harms way.
Today, you and I may not find ourselves in a situation where we must decide whether to evacuate our homes due to a brewing hurricane. We will however, have to make decisions to evacuate circumstances that could leave us in dangerous places, or cause others to be in harms way as a result of those decisions.
: to remove (someone) from a dangerous place
: to leave (a dangerous place)
: to get away from a dangerous place or situation
: to get away from something that is difficult or unpleasant
These words, quite similar in their definition, brought the following scripture to mind:
1 Corinthians 10:13 (HCSB)
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (AMP)
No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].
God provides us with an exit plan, an opportunity if you will, to make a right decision.
This brings me back to the non-evacuees I mentioned earlier. I can relate to them.
The Pet-lover: Loving someone/something so much it clouds your decisions, impairs judgment, or simply takes God out of His rightful place in my heart.
The Denier: Watching, looking, listening to something that you think will have no impact on your heart, mind, or soul. Possibly having done it before without recognizing impact.
The Distruster: Compromising truth of God’s standard in His Word, buying into a lie that God wouldn’t be loving if He required that standard. Being obstinate in my view of truth.
Look at the places God tells us about specific escapes provided in His Word:
An evil man is [dangerously] ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will escape from trouble.
Maybe it’s that conversation about a particular person, that quickly turns to gossip or slander.
A false witness will not go unpunished, and one who utters lies will not escape.
Could it be that story that exaggerates a few extra details to draw added drama or attention that is not complete truth.
Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.
Are there other things you fear (respect): your reputation, opinions of others, more than God Himself?
Conviction has accompanied my heart as I’ve written. Let this encourage you, as it has myself, to think through where God is offering the escape route for you. He is all about our best interest. That is why He offered us the greatest escape route ever…
Our God is a God of salvation, and escape from death belongs
to the Lord God.
Choosing to believe Him, and the truth of His Son (Jesus) allows us to receive the ultimate escape; the escape from death.
Let us hold solid to His truth and lift up to Him the needs of people, evacuated or not, effected by Hurricane Matthew.