Lessons learned from Ian

During this massive, angry, satanic storm that nature hurled our way here in Florida this past week, there are a lot of lessons I learned, some of which I'd rather not have learned.

Others, I was delighted to learn.  My situation was a good one compared to many others.  I did evacuate to an area slightly less impacted than the one directly in Hurricane Ian's eye, and we never once lost power.  At times, though I thought the house would blow down, nothing budged except branches, leaves, and a few very old oaks.

This I learned:

  • Many people are looking for an opportunity to help out, and they will flow in from other states to do so, with no hope of remuneration.  The Cajun Navy is a prime example: experienced in disaster rescue and relief, the group is a selfless and competent Godsend who goes everywhere to help.
  • Some people will lose no time to blame their political enemies and "global warming" for everything bad they can see.
  • People tend to have a sacrificial nature if they were brought up that way or if they know God.  If they were not, it's "me first."
  • The internet can be boon or bane: if it's not there, it can cause us to go back to reading, praying, writing, painting, dancing, worshiping, and talking to each other a whole lot more.
  • Do not burden me with hardship stories standing outside in whipping winds and rain with a camera and a microphone.  I was praying for a shark.
  • Getting to know people better is a good thing, on many levels.  My hosts, friends to begin with, were gracious, kind, and generous.  And funny.
  • Things can change in a heartbeat.  I was woefully unprepared for this disaster, and that will change.
  • Tom Cruise's Top Gun: Maverick movie is the best airplane movie on the planet.  Ever.
  • Austin Butler, who plays Elvis in the new movie by the same name, is superb, but did he ever do anything since then?  If not, why not?
  • Good coffee is delicious but treacherous: I had stopped drinking it but tried it again during my three-day stay at our hosts' home.  I appreciate why people drink it.  No more for me, though.  I like having regular heartbeats and a placid spirit.
  • Good friends are rare.  Good friends who are selfless are rarer still.  Good friends who are selfless and who go the extra mile to make you comfortable are nearly impossible to find.  If you have any, treasure them and plan to be like them.
  • Having a sweet, placid, gentle, elderly cat around during a storm is calming.  They seem to know things.
  • What happens post-disaster is revealing: we have discovered that our brilliant vice president believes that "people of color" should get disaster relief first.  I take it that if she has a medical emergency, she will go to only hospitals that are entirely staffed by POC.
  • We have learned that Ron DeSantis is probably the most capable, forward-thinking leader the country could possibly have.  He will make a great POTUS.
  • We have learned that people who have less stuff more easily make the best of things when things go south.  More pampered people seem to suffer more when they lose their stuff.
  • Stress is fatiguing and can sap the life out of older people after a very short period of time.
  • Garage doors don't open in a power failure, when you need your car the most.
  • God is good, God is merciful, and God will always, always, at some point, "work things for the good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

Hurricane Ian hurt a lot of people and property, and it came not from man, but from God, who has every right to be cheesed off about what we have allowed to happen to our country's culture and politics.  Just as God allowed Job to be tested by Satan in order to prove to Satan that Job would never curse God even though everything was taken from him, perhaps God has allowed Satan to test us in the form of Ian.  How we relate to God in such circumstances will teach believers and unbelievers lessons of value.  Do we trust God in the midst of our pain?  Or do we trust in our own strength?

Image: Screen shot from Washington Post video via YouTube.

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