Now that I am an octogenarian (wow, that's the first time that I have referred to myself as one of those), I try not to allow myself to be overly influenced by feelings or polls, be it Gallup, Pew, or Zogby.
But I must admit that I got a little caught up in the prognostications of such as Rove, Krauthammer and especially Dick Morris in the waning days of the Presidential sweepstakes. I was mesmerized with Rove's little chalkboard, Kraut's steady demeanor, and Morris' enthusiasm.
About two weeks to ten days before the election all of the polls had Romney up by about 4-5 points and holding steady. All of the experts were saying, that it was Romney's race to win, if he didn't do something to lose it, and down inside you thought that just maybe he could make it.
And then came the storm. All of a sudden, the President was twenty-five feet tall. He was the comforter-in-chief of the nation, and Gov. Christie was telling all of us what a great man he was, and Romney slid into the abyss of history. Even Chris Matthews, the liberal media shill on MSNBC, apparently "felt it," because after Obama was elected, he said, "Thank God for the storm." What a strange thing for him to say.
And what a storm it was. Katrina was 300 miles wide; Sandy was 900. Katrina hit New Orleans, a population center of approximately one million; Sandy hit a density of more than ten million. Katrina hit In warm weather; Sandy came in late fall and mixed itself with a nor'wester which dumped several inches of snow all the way from West Virginia to Maine, as high as 14" in some places. Many people had to endure homes without electricity and heat for many days. Some subways were out until December 21. 305,000 housing units were damaged or destroyed in New York alone.
Whatever momentum Romney had was wiped out. By election day, all of the pollsters said the race was too close to call, and in the end, only 3 million votes separated Romney and Obama in the popular vote.
Only eternity will reveal whether the storm had anything to do with Obama's reelection. Some believe it was his inept campaign and others are convinced that voter fraud was involved, but let's not forget the other storm. Remember the one that put the damper on the Republican convention in late August. Hurricane Isaac skirted Tampa and seriously disrupted the official schedule. It totally wiped out the entire Monday night events. Newsmax magazine discussed the storm's effect when they gave their analysis of Isaac's influence by noting that "rising star Sen. Marco Rubio – who many believe gave the best speech at the convention – was knocked out of prime time TV, and so was the video biography introducing Mitt to the nation. Eastwood and his chair stole the primetime spot and Gov. Christie figured in his first betrayal when he gave his prime-time keynote speech and barely mentioned Romney. In fact you would have thought that he was running for President. Romney never gained back the ground he lost until the first debate."
Romney was finally beginning to see a surge when the second hurricane struck on Oct. 29. After that, according to Newsmax, "Romney's campaign went into freeze mode while Obama swung into 'commander in chief' mode. Romney's surge was suddenly frozen too."
This is not the first time that storms have played a part in changing the course of history. In fact, history is replete with examples. It might be said that God is the God of the storm. The prophet Nahum said to the nation of Israel, "The LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet." The prophet Isaiah says that "He measures the water in the hollow of his hand." If this is true, His hands measured the amount of rain that the clouds poured down on New Orleans, Tampa, and the Eastern Seaboard when Katrina, Isaac, and Sandy hit, with millions of people in its wake. To say any less would be to deny the very sovereignty of God.
One of the greatest storms was when God sent the strong east wind to dry up the Red Sea, which blew all night long and was so hard that two million Israelites could walk across on dry ground (Ex. 14:21). The course of history was turned in that the Egyptian army was destroyed, Israel was saved to become a nation and Egypt until this day has never regained its status as a superpower among the nations of the world.
Sometimes God sends an evil storm against His people, as he did to murmuring Israel at Kadesh-barnea. They had complained about the fare of plain manna until God got so sick of hearing of their griping and lusting after flesh that "there went forth a wind from the Lord and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp." There were so many that they covered the ground as high as three feet. And while the flesh was still in their teeth the Lord smote them with a great plague." The Psalmist said, "And he gave them their request: but sent leaness into their soul."
One of the most interesting storms in the Bible involved a king who built a fleet of ships, but the ships never sailed. His name was Jehoshaphat. The Scripture says that he "walked in all the ways of Asa his father… doing that which was right in the eyes of the Lord." He also removed the sodomites out of the land which had remained from the days of his father. But there were two acts of compromise: one of omission and one of commission. First he refused to remove the high places where the people continued to burn incense, and he made an alliance with Ahaziah, the King of Israel. Apparently he also planned on building a great naval force. According to the account in 2 Chronicles 20:37 - "Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the LORD hath broken thy works." Recorded in the book of I Kings is more information as to why the king was building these ships. Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber. 1 Kings 22:48.
This sort of conjures up the pictures of the ships that we have seen piled on top of one another after hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, etc. Many a man and nations have built ships that never sailed.
One of the great storms of the Bible was the storm that God sent to sweep Jonah off his ship of ease that he had taken to Tarshish to flee from the presence of the Lord. "But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken." Many a people through the years have gotten on that ship of ease to go to their Tarshish to run from God, and have run into a storm that has wrecked their little frail bark, which was mighty weak against the winds of God's chastisement.
It would be impossible to cover the scope of history in one article to tell how God has used the weather to intervene in the affairs of men. But we will close with these brief accounts. It was the brutal Russian winter, not Russia's military might, that defeated Napoleon's army. And who will ever forget the fog that hid Washington's beleaguered and ragged Continental army in their retreat across the Delaware, allowing them to fight another day against the mighty British juggernaut. And who cannot thrill to the story of the "good weather prayer" that Patton ordered that allowed the Allied planes to fly during World War II. That account was recorded in the LA Times as follows:
In December 1944, Gen. George S. Patton Jr. commanded the U.S. Third Army in their breakout from the Normandy bridgehead and race across France to the German border. Faced with lengthening supply lines and stiffening German resistance, the Third Army advance slowed to a halt. Even the weather did not cooperate, as rains and snow delayed supplies, mired his troops, and grounded air support. So Gen. Patton turned to prayer.
On Dec. 8, Patton turned to a higher power to clear the skies. He asked Chaplain James H. O'Neill if he knew of a "good prayer for the weather," according to military historian and Patton expert Kevin M. Hymel. "We must do something about these rains," Patton said, "if we are to win the war."
After some thought and research, O'Neill came up with the following: "Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen."
O'Neill typed the prayer onto an index card, and on the flip side typed a Christmas greeting from Patton. Patton ordered 250,000 copies of the card printed and distributed to every man in the 3rd Army….
In December 1944, his prayer was answered. The weather miraculously cleared (it did eventually snow, but the prayer hadn't mentioned snow), and Patton was able to get his army moving again. When the Germans launched their final attack against Allied Forces, the Battle of the Bulge, Patton swung his men north toward the town of Bastogne, where German forces surrounded American troops from the First Army. On Dec. 26, he broke through the German defenses and relieved Bastogne.
(From the LA Times "A 1944 Christmas Miracle for Gen. Patton")
God doesn't need modern means of warfare to defeat a far more formidable foe. He just needs a few snowflakes, some rain to make some mud, a wind to blow, a sun to stand still for Joshua to defeat those five fierce kings at Gibeon.
But be assured either the winds of adversity, temptation or persecution will blow against you at some point in your life and the only sure protection is that One whose voice stilled the raging storm on the Galilee that awful night, when He said, "Peace, be still." The disciples said among themselves, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" He is the one who spoke them into existence in the beginning. When that time comes in our lives, he is the one that I want to be standing with me.
Psalms 107:28-30 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.