Tropical Cyclone Winston hammered the island nation of Fiji on February 20. ABC reports 42 Fijians are now confirmed dead and thousands are homeless.
Whole villages have been destroyed and what little the local people have has cruelly been taken away from them. And now, as Sky News reports, potential outbreaks of the Zika and Dengue viruses, carried by mosquitos, could breed in the stagnant water left by the storm.
Meanwhile in Australia...the surf's swell!
Fast forward one week since the Cyclone hit Fiji and surfers close to where I live are enjoying the 'swell of the decade' thanks to the winds generated from Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Big Wave Surfer, Gary Elkerton, spoke with Sunshine Coast Daily stating the cyclone had been a category five for five days, which was 'extraordinary' and the swell was due to the 250kph winds from the cyclone.
Of course I am not implying surfers should feel guilty for enjoying the large surf, I am merely observing how the same storm can cause such devastation to so many people while, a mere three-hour plane ride away, others are enjoying the swell caused by the same storms' winds.
This just doesn't seem very fair to me and when I think about some of 'life's storms' such as strife, relationship issues or financial hardships, they too don't seem very fair. So what are we to do when we find ourselves in the midst of a storm? Or a cyclone?
I do the only thing I can think of and go to God's word. According to Mark chapter 4, verse 39, we can find peace in the storm. In this passage Jesus speaks to the storm and said, 'Quiet! Be Still!' Then the wind stopped and the lake became calm. Furthermore, Psalm 107 verses 28–29 says:
'"Lord, help!" they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves'.
It is so comforting to know we can be in the midst of a storm and yet be filled with His peace. This truly does exceed anything we can understand! (see Philippians chapter 4, verse 7).
The Lord is with you
Whatever storm you may be in right now, even if you can't feel God close by, I would like to encourage you: the Lord is with you and He wants us to trust Him and find strength and rest in Him.
Isaiah chapter 41, verse 10:
'Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand'.
Joshua chapter 1, verse 9:
'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go'.
Jo Fuller is an early childhood teacher with degrees in journalism and education. She currently lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and toddler son.
Jo Fuller's archive of articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jo-fuller.html