Out of the Whirlwind

That one night changed everything. Life would never be the same again.

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Ten years ago, in the pre-dawn hours of Sept. 16, 2004, Hurricane Ivan struck our area on the Gulf Coast. “In the Caribbean, Ivan became a category 5 hurricane, with winds of 160 m.p.h., on the 9th when it was south of the Dominican Republic, and on two occasions the minimum pressure fell to 910 mb. Ivan moved across the east-central Gulf of Mexico, making landfall as a major hurricane with sustained winds of near 120 m.p.h. on the 16th just west of Gulf Shores, Alabama.” (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/outreach/history/)

Though we had been through hurricanes before, Ivan eclipsed most every memory we had about those experiences. That difficult night began a long and arduous task of recovery and rehabilitation for our area. Entire neighborhoods disappeared. Personal belongings lay scattered across miles and miles with little hope of ever being returned. Life would never be the same!

Ten years later it appears that everything is back to normal. That is, until you compare then and now. Many people have relocated to other places, houses have been built differently, and even a few precious loved ones lost their lives in connection with Ivan.

One of the definitions for whirlwind in the Bible is a hurricane. Whirlwinds though, aren’t always named storms like Ivan. Sometimes it begins with a visit to the doctor or the emergency room.  Still others are signaled by a confession from a loved one that forever changes your life. That one phone call – all of a sudden life becomes a whirlwind of questions with little to no answers.

Whatever your whirlwind, I want you to know that there is another side! One day the storm will pass, and most likely you and your scars will carry on.

What does The Lord have to say about these whirlwinds?

 

1. GOD USES THE WHIRLWIND TO MOVE US

2 Kings 2:1

1  And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

2 Kings 2:11

11  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

Whirlwinds of life have a tendency to move us – not necessarily physically, but spiritually and even emotionally. After the storm calms down we usually find we’re not the same person as before. Our experiences, our expectations, and our emotions have all changed as a result.

You will see in the text above God literally moved Elijah. How abrupt this experience must have been for both Elijah and his apprentice Elisha. One minute they’re traveling down the road, the next they are divided.

The whirlwind not only moved Elijah, but consider how it moved Elisha. He now had to step up and decide whether or not he would continue. Would he still trust God when his closest friend was now at a distance.

This happens all the time. A friend betrays, a mentor disappoints, a job falls through. Is it possible that God works out of the whirlwind to change our lives? I believe so.

 

2. GOD USES THE WHIRLWIND TO SPEAK TO US

Job 38:1

1  Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

 Job 40:6

6  Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

We are all familiar with Job. He has long been the reigning champion of sufferings endured. I find it interesting though, how God chose to speak to Him – out of a whirlwind. This pretty well described Job’s life in recent days. His world had been turned upside down in a very short amount of time. He lost his wealth, his children, and his own health.

What a comfort it is to read that, “The Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind”! OUT OF THE WHIRLWIND! Thank The Lord that the whirlwind can never silence His voice!

Notice Job’s response afterward:

Job 42:1-6

1  Then Job answered the Lord, and said,

2  I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

3  Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

4  Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

5  I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

6  Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

The Lord was able to speak to Job like never before because He had His attention like never before.

 

What whirlwinds of life are you experiencing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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