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The Fluctuating Pattern of Tropical Storms

We are only a few weeks away from the official beginning on the 2016 Hurricane Season. And right now, we are in the middle of what is called Hurricane Preparedness Week; a time for those of us who live in areas prone to tropical cyclones to learn about ways to prepare and protect ourselves, and our property, in the event that a storm does make landfall.

cyclone_map_largeThese storms all form near the equator in warm ocean waters, starting as a tropical disturbance. When its winds are between 35-38 mph it becomes a tropical depression, and once wind speeds are in excess of 38 mph the storm gets another name, a tropical storm. If you are familiar at all with hurricanes, you probably know that their official name is a tropical cyclone, and it becomes a category 1 hurricane when wind speeds reach 74 mph. In the Atlantic Ocean the storms are pushed east by the trade winds which blow east to west. Many of these tropical occurrences never make it to hurricane strength, with most storms constantly bouncing between various categories as wind speeds and intensity change, sometimes hour by hour.

Life is often that way. In the course of a single day, we can see our emotions bounce all over the place. You wake up in the morning with anticipation looking forward to a large customer signing a new big contract with your company later that day, only to quickly become angry when you jump in the shower and find that you have no hot water. Soon you get calmed back down and after breakfast and morning devotions you head off the work or school, but quickly experience fear as you almost get t-boned by a car that just ran a red light. Once you get to work your anticipation turns to surprise and sadness when you open our e-mail and find that the customer you had planned to meet with signed with one of your competitors instead of you. You trudge through the day and after work head off to your son’s baseball game and sit in amazement and joy as he pitches a no hitter against the best team in their league. That evening, as you and your family eat dinner and you listen in on the conversation, but find yourself distracted, thinking about that big meeting tomorrow at work. Just in the course of a few short hours you experienced the roller coaster of anticipation, anger, fear, surprise, sadness, amazement, joy, and distraction. And throw in the state of being hungry, thirsty, tired, hot or cold, etc. and you had a full day bouncing all over the place.

While we, like the tropical storms, often change from minute to minute, God never changes. God, in His three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is the same yesterday, today, and forever. You’ve probably heard the saying that the only constant is change. While that is true of us and all the things around us, the opposite is true of God – He is consistent; always good, always loving, always all-powerful. Scripture verses in Malachi and Hebrews tell us that God never changes. In Malachi 3:6, the Lord says this of himself, “I the LORD do not change.” In Hebrews 13:8 it says this about Jesus, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

So no matter how uncertain your life is, and how changing the world can be, you can always trust in God’s never-changing and never-ending love and faithfulness.

Dave Garrett

New Bern, North Carolina

5/18/2016

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