On Monday, Oct. 8, I woke up with a sense of urgency and the words from Joshua 1:11 in my mind, “Get your provisions ready.” I felt like I had a charge. Get things ready in every way possible. Since living in Destin, we have had quite a few storm threats, but none have done much damage. I felt stirred up about this one at best. “Get your provisions ready,” on repeat in my mind. I knew right then that I needed to go get some things done and then go to the beach at 1 p.m. and pray.
Immediately upon getting out of my house for work, I went straight to the gas station. It was still early in the day, so I pulled right up to a pump. As I stood there pumping gas, I saw truck after truck pull up with boats attached to fill up on gas. “Get your provisions ready” again in my mind. It was in that moment that I felt a stirring in my heart, a lump in my throat, and I began to pray. Right there. Out loud. At the gas station. Nobody seemed fazed.
The day went on with work, meetings, and emails, but at lunch I had business to do. I got some dog food for my puppy, and then I headed to my favorite beach. There were men with masks putting away beach chairs and a few tourists in swimsuits still on the beach. The waves were getting high already, and the red tide was chokingly thick. I went out there to the edge of the raging ocean just like our Pastors and I have done dozens of times before with anointing oil in hand.
As if God needed to be reminded, I reminded Him that we are a Blessed City. We seek Him for blessing year after year individually and as a community during the Week of Blessings. We are a city full of signs that make people wonder about Him. I reminded myself of the words from Psalm 91:1-4 about us being covered as a city by His feathers of refuge. I also prayed that just as the spirit of death passed over the Israelites because of the blood of the lamb on the door post, in the same way the spirit of death is not welcome in this region.
At that time I was reminded that the hurricane we were facing as a region was named Michael. How funny. Michael. That is a name that should bring comfort to the people of God. Michael is an archangel depicted as a great captain leading the heavenly hosts of angels and warring for the Children of God. From that point forward, peace came over me. Even if … God is still greater.
Those of you reading this might have family in Panama City Beach and beyond where the storm hit significantly greater. No, I did not pray it would go your way. We pray that storms cease and dissipate. Let us be reminded that the spirit of God came upon His people in Acts when they came together in the name of Jesus. For those impacted, may you see the spirit of God rush into your cities and communities as we come together in the name of Jesus to help restore ruined cities.
Get your provisions ready people of God! Love your neighbor, provide for your neighbor, and prepare for the harvest!
Caroline Hare is the Next Generations Pastor at Destin United Methodist Church. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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