Hurricane Harvey Damage

 

Hurricane harveyHurricane Harvey

In late August Hurricane Harvey hit the United States causing much structural damage and devastating floods.

At least 47 people died and about 43,000 are currently housed in shelters. An estimated 20 trillion gallons of rain fell on the Houston area alone. Later, although downgraded to a tropical storm, it  continued to deluge Texas and parts of Louisiana.

The clean up process is going to be massive, costly and will take several years. Almost half a million households have registered for support for rental assistance and essential home repairs. Even as the waters receded in some parts of the state, rivers were still rising and flooding was posing and ongoing threat. The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, estimated that the state may need more than $125bn in aid.

 

Psa 65 9  You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water

Water is vital to life, nothing can exist without it and yet too much can cause floods, damage to the environment and loss of life. Flooding threatens not merely people living in under developed areas but can also devastate highly populated urban areas

 

Yet water, as well as being a destroyer, can also be a blessing, as when rain comes to parched lands, just at the right time and helps the crops to grow and provide a life saving harvest.

Rain truly is a life giver, in the right place, at the right time. Take the Atacama desert, in the north of Chile. It is one of the driest places on earth. So dry, in fact that at its inner core even the hardiest of microbes, cannot exist. Yet recently, in part of the desert not quite so harsh, after intense and unexpected rain fell, parts of the arid Atacama desert have turned into a carpet of flowers. 

atacama in_bloom

The Atacama desert in bloom

The "desert florido" (flowering desert) phenomenon usually occurs about every seven years when rain causes buried seeds to germinate and flower. But this bloom came just two years after a a particularly colourful flowering in 2015. More than 200 species of plant have been found to grow in the area. And with different species germinating at different times the desert ought to blossom for quite a while. An amazing spectacle. This truly barren wasteland turning for a short period into a carpet of flowers and its all due to the rain.

The desert shall blossom as the rose

We are told in the prophecy of Isaiah that when Christ’s kingdom is established the desert will blossom as the rose. Seeing the world’s driest place transforming roughly every 7 years into a thing of rare beauty gives us a glimpse at what it will be like in the future Kingdom. This sight should make us rejoice for we know this is what God can do, when He truly blesses the earth. Isaiah prophesied

Isaiah 35:1-2

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.   It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.

This will happen when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to set up his Kingdom. At that time we are promised that the world will be a blessed place, where all nations will worship and obey their Creator ,there will be peace and plenty for all and it will be as God promised the nation of Israel of old Leviticus 26 3-6

“If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them,

then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely.

I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid.

Here is a picture of a world without fear, fear of war, fear of devastation from ‘natural events’ and this is far different from today’s world. Today we have a world which looks very much like the one the Lord Jesus said would exist just before he returned

Luke 21:25-27  “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Today such fear as the Lord Jesus described is palpable, but it should not give those who love and serve the Lord Jesus, those who obey his commandments, cause for alarm. Rather it should give them hope. For the Lord Jesus continued…..

Luke 21: 28  Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

So, while we are deeply saddened by the tragedy which has fallen upon so many; we can be heartened that very soon this sad world will rejoice at the blessings granted by the return of its King, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will reign over the Kingdom of God on earth.