Thursday, July 28, 2011

Loves like a hurricane.

Have you ever gotten to experience the insanity of a hurricane first-hand?

I was born and raised in southern Florida, so hurricanes were just a part of life for us growing up. Ya'll get snow days? We got hurricane days. Usually it was pretty fun; no school, sitting outside in the wind watching the rain-bands come in, checking out the insane waves at the beach, telling stories by candlelight, and combining roller-blades and garbage bags to harness the wind into pretty exciting propulsion devices.

Most of the storms we dealt with were relatively minor, (for hurricanes, that is), but hard-core Floridians that we were, we never evacuated. But back in 2004, we got to ride out the most intense storm I've ever experienced. Hurricane Jeanne was a very strong category 3 storm. (For those of you unfamiliar with the Saffir-Simpson scale, that means winds of up to 130 mph and a storm surge of up to 12 feet. Yowza.) Our house stood strong, but I'll never forget the deafening roar of the wind, or the way the entire house shook with each gust.

My brother and I, intelligent and curious young people that we were, had planned ahead to be able to experience the full force of this storm in an up-close-and-personal manner. Earlier in the day, we had tied ropes to a downed palm tree in our front yard and lead them to the front door of the house. Our plan was to use the ropes as guides and anchors so we could go outside during the most intense parts of the storm and experience the insanity! So in the dead of night, we made several trips into the yard, and quite nearly were carried away into the darkness. Have you ever felt 130 mph winds in your face? Combined with torrential rain and unthinkable debris?

Yeah, it was a blast. Luckily we weren't struck by a flying pool enclosure or anything, and we managed to get quite a rush out of it.

But I tell you what, when I heard the lyrics to one of my new favorite worship songs, it felt like God was speaking right to me:

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

After feeling the actual force of a hurricane, and literally being bowled-over by its power, it blows my mind that the love of God is even more intense and incredible and powerful than that.

He loves like a hurricane, I am a tree.

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