A worker boards up his restaurant in Miami.
A worker boards up his restaurant in Miami. (REUTERS/Bryan Woolston)

As my wife and I prepare for Hurricane Irma, I see the difference in those who live by faith trusting in the One that created the universe and those who lean on their own understanding.

We decided to put up our shutters, have enough food, water and batteries, gas up our cars and tough it out. My parents are old and I need to be near them; plus, I want to salvage as much as I can after the initial impact. Our home looks like a military bunker, with plants inside and dark like night.

Last night, our church had to be "shuttered up," and thus we could not have our mid-week Thursday service there. And of course, folks had to continue their preparations.

Nevertheless, we had a service in my house where I spoke about "Putting God First." In this sermon, I said I wasn't going to speculate on Irma whether it came as wrath from God, from the devil or just simply the season where the earth needs to be refreshed. However, I did mention that God is allowing this hurricane to happen to get our attention. We are bickering about our president; we are divided, with so much racism and police brutality. We should be called "the Divided States of America" instead. Hopefully, this catastrophe will unite us more.

I'm a Hurricane Andrew survivor, and as soon as my house is in order, church will reopen for service.

I believe in my spirit that though our president means well, we will never be "great again" unless we put God first! I will continue to apply one of my favorite verses in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and will pray for God's hedge of protection for the state of Florida.

Last night, we prayed for a miracle. We know God is able to dismantle this storm, but even if He chooses not ... we will serve the Lord because He will still sustain us. May God have mercy on us as we seek His presence and make Him our first priority, not our last resort.

Heriberto "Hery" Alonso is a licensed ordained minister, author, evangelist, inspirational speaker, life coach (health-mind-relationships) and graduate of Alpha & Omega Bible Institute.

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