We have all been tracking the torrential rains and flooding in the Houston area. Some areas received more than 27 inches of rain in two days. At least 38 people have died and they expect that number to rise significantly as many are still missing. There have been many acts of heroism and an outpouring of generation donations.
I found myself wondering why the residents of Houston didn’t evacuate when they knew the storm was coming. The answer is complex. A week before the storms hit, Texas governor Rick Abbot had told residents, “If I were in Houston I would head north.” But few listened. They didn’t want to leave their homes – and who knew if the storm would really be that bad. Of course, once the storm hit, the opportunity for evacuation was over. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner then told residents, “Please think twice before trying to leave Houston en masse.” Mass evacuation of six million people from a metropolitan area at that point would have been a recipe for disaster.
Jesus warned of a coming time of disaster that would be greater than any other hurricane, tornado or tsunami the world has ever known. “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be” (Matthew 24:21). Unlike Hurricane Harvey, this storm of God’s judgment is certain. Unlike the situation in Houston, there is a clear means of escape from God’s judgment. While radar can track the approach of a hurricane, we don’t know when God’s judgment will fall. And while mayors and governors warned the people of Texas, God himself has warned us of impending disaster.
In light of this, I urge you to take appropriate steps. Because of our sin, we stand in the path of disaster and judgment. Jesus has extended the offer of grace and forgiveness through his work on the cross. There is the opportunity for you to escape the most devastating of disasters. Have you heeded the warnings?
Photo credit: https://www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0817_hurricane-harvey/