This much we know is true. You might disagree but that is okay.
How Samoa was spared from a cyclone predicted to arrive as a Category 3 on Sunday morning and expected to increase to Category 4 later during the day can only be described as a miracle.
A miracle by the way is defined as an “event not explicable by natural or scientific laws.” In other words, we simply cannot explain it.
There is no doubt that the scientists and the experts – including the self-appointed weather experts – will have plenty to say as they attempt to explain away their models, theories, differences of opinions and what have you.
That’s fine, this is a free world.
At the end of the day, however, whichever prediction you and I believe, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Samoa has been spared from a major natural disaster.
We are here, we are alive and well, we are safe and we should be mighty grateful.
Whether you believe in God or not is irrelevant.
What’s important to remember is that there are things in this life that cannot be explained; they are far beyond our feeble minds.
What happened on Saturday, we believe, is one of those things.
Come to think of it, if you are a Christian – as the majority of people in this country would proclaim – then there is no doubt in our minds that what happened is because of God.
It is called grace, a word I’d like to define as unmerited favour. Yes we are blessed because of it even though we don’t deserve it.
But that’s God for you.
He is all knowing, all sovereign and He can do whatever He likes – including dissipating a storm we feared could wipe us off the face of the planet with all the predictions we saw.
Today, let’s be thankful and acknowledge God’s hand of protection.
Let’s appreciate the fact that we are here and we are safe. Hug your families and loved ones, tell them what they really mean to you. Every day is a gift, we must never take it for granted.
Does this mean we are better than others who have faced similar disasters near and far?
Absolutely not. We are terrible.
This country is no better than what is happening anywhere else in the world. As a matter of fact, if you stop to observe what’s been happening lately socially, politically and morally, you’d think we would have copped it by now.
But that’s what we mean when we say there are some things that cannot be explained. God’s grace is such that the human instincts will always contradict it. Just when we’ve had enough of someone or a certain situation, grace tells us to persevere and hope for the best.
Confused? Me too. When we talk about God’s grace, I don’t get it sometimes. I don’t understand how He can continue to be so faithful when I am not.
But that’s okay.
We don’t know everything and it’s good now and then to admit that much.
Two weeks ago, the whole of Apia could have blown up when that fuel tank caught fire. We were spared.
And now Cyclone Amos?
Yes, we are blessed indeed.
But let’s not take that for granted. Let’s not get puffed up in pride and act like we are better than others.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is a time and season for everything.
There is a season of favour and that seems to be the case in Samoa today and there is a season where things will not be good.
The key is our response as a people.
We need to know how to respond during the season of favour and when things are not so good.
We’ve got to remain steadfast, humble and we’ve got to acknowledge that we are humans and we make mistakes.
In doing so, we must put our trust in God who knows what happened yesterday, what today brings and where tomorrow is going to take us. That’s all we can do.
So take comfort and be encouraged.
Having said that, we want to acknowledge all the hard working emergency service responders in this country who sacrificed their safety and time with their families during the weekend when Cyclone Amos was heading for us.
We are talking about the Disaster Advisory Committee, Disaster Management Office, Met office officials, F.E.S.A, Police, Health workers, E.P.C, S.W.A, M.C.I.T, Radio announcers, the shop owners who opened up to allow people to obtain last minute supplies and everyone who played a part in preparing Samoa for the worst. Your efforts are appreciated and we thank you for playing your part.
Cyclone Amos is definitely not the last so until next time, God bless!