Fall – A Season of Change

So here in the Brooksville area, we have been blessed over this past week plus to enjoy morning temperatures in the 50s, lower humidity, and highs in the upper 70s to low to mid-80s. Rarified air and temps for us Floridians. A sign that fall is slowly creeping into our state. Fall is a season of change that, unfortunately, has seen our state’s landscape and people’s lives changed in a horrific manner as the result of Hurricane Ian. In some places, people and their families, businesses, and incomes, churches have been drastically altered, some forever, by these past days’ events.

For many right now, finding any sign of hope seems like a foregone conclusion because of the magnitude of despair that many are experiencing. Where do I/we go from here when there seems nowhere to go? How do I move forward when everything is gone? I wish that I had the capacity to restore everything to the way it was before Ian. I wish I could intervene and clean up the mess and help people and towns, and businesses get their lives back, but I can’t. I am intimately acquainted with so many of the areas in SW Florida that have been recently decimated. We lived in North Port from 2013-2021. June worked at the recently closed hospital in Venice. We have friends trying to recover in North Port, Venice, and Port Charlotte. We hurt and pray for everyone everywhere whose lives have been turned upside down by Hurricane Ian.

June and I continue to pray, give what we can, and be there in whatever way God may allow us to be there for these people in their time of need. As a Southern Baptist pastor, I am proud of our churches in that area and other churches of other denominations stepping up to help when many of the people helping are still digging out and getting their lives back to normal. I am proud of Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief teams and our Florida Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Teams all coming together in this great time of need. Most of all, I am happy to have a personal relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ to whom I can go in prayer when my heart is heavy. When I don’t have the answers or even know where to start looking for them because I know my God is bigger than it all and above it all. This is who I turn to and fall back on when my strength and hope are gone. My prayer for you is that whether in the good or bad times, you have an anchor that is steadfast and sure, for when the storms come and they will your anchor, your God will see you safely to the other side.