We all have experienced an occasion where the TV goes on and on how bad a storm will be. We are warned about massive snowfall, that floodwater will carry everything away or the wind will take off our homes roof. At times, the event is everything promised, like Hurricane Sandy. At other times the danger seems to fizzle, creating cries of “Too much hype” from some. Some seem almost disappointed the worst didn’t happen.
Jonah, better known for spending three days in a fish’s stomach, held a similar view. Jonah was prompted by the Lord to proclaim, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4 NASB). Jonah was on a mission form God, proclaiming the Lords warning.
“Then, the people of Nineveh believed God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.” (Jonah 3:5 NASB) “When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would not bring upon them. And He did not do it” (Jonah 3:10 NASB)
Then we see, “But it greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry” (Jonah 4:1 NASB). The best thing that could have happened as a result of Jonah was repentance by the people, and a turning to God, yet Jonah was angry.
The Lord spoke to Ezekiel and said, "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live." (Ezekiel 18:32 NASB) The Lord desires to rescue everyone.
When a storm passes and the damage is lighter then feared, rather then complaining about “excesses” hype we should fill the air with praise to the Lord. Next, we should look at a near miss as a warning. Many New Yorkers experienced Hurricane Isabelle last year. After the storm passed, many complained about the excessive hype. Most did little or nothing to prepare for the next storm. Others figured that since the last storm wasn’t so bad, Sandy wouldn’t be as bad either. Poor assumption, most people wished they had taken Sandy's warning more seriously.
Few complained about excessive hype with Sandy.
In addition, Christians need to focus prayer when trouble comes. Pray for deliverance. Pray for escape. Pray to be able to minister in and through every situation.
When we experience a near miss, consider taking these steps:
1. Praise the Lord for deliverance
2. Be thankful the Lord answered the prayers of those seeking deliverance
3. Ask what lessons could I learn? How could I have been better prepared?
4. Next time, don’t use the near miss as a reason to stay in harms way, many did to their regret during Sandy