My first encounter with God’s voice occurred with Hurricane David in August of 1979.
I was a babe in Christ, having given my heart to Him six months before. I did not know other believers and did not have a steady church to go until 1981.
I thank God that my fellowship was only with TBN, Jim and Tammy Baker and Jimmy Swaggart, even though I was so so lonely. I was forced to learn to pray and study the Bible for myself. I had to learn about the Kingdom of God, and of Satan, by myself.
In those days, we lived on Key Biscayne. My father, and my now deceased mother, were getting divorced and my father had moved out of our home.
I used to idolized hurricanes and tornadoes spending hours in front of the Weather Channel. When Hurricane David was tracking across Santo Domingo, I believed that I heard the voice of God, for the first time. I thought that God told me that David was not going to hit South Florida.
I told my parents that God had told me that David was not going to hit. Many people are shocked with that type of statement.
“How does God speak to you?”
Or they associate you with as a nutcase who hears voices in his head. My parents, in those days, thought of my conversion to this God as totally absurd, fanatical, and worthy of being hauled into a psych ward.
I was an impetuous and rash young man full of faith in the God who was transforming me.
“God told me that the hurricane is not going to hit,” I retorted time and time again.
David, however, with massive wind fields was zeroing in on Miami and Key Biscayne, which was surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
About 48 hours before its arrival, the Key Biscayne Police Department drove around with megaphones telling people to evacuate the island. I don’t know what I would have done now, to honor my parents.
Back then I said:
“I am not leaving, because God told me that the hurricane is not going to hit. I am going to prove to you that God talks to me. “
You can imagine what my family thought of me, and what I put them through. But obedience is better than any sacrifice we can make.
David had its refined sight still honed upon the Magic City. Most of the island evacuated. We boarded the home and my mother, brother and sister left for the Holiday Inn on the edge of the key. I stayed in the boarded house with my giant print, green Living Bible, a weather radio, and a few flashlights.
With the eye of the potent hurricane 10 hours away, light rains began. I had the TV on and read verses from the Bible. The winds and rains intensified. Suddenly the lights went out. I only had my little weather radio. With the absence of noise, I could clearly hear the ever-increasing winds. I became glued to my radio. To my dismay, David was quickly pouncing upon South Florida. What would happen if the Key flooded and I was there all alone?
My mother frantically telephoned and pleaded with me to come out to the Holiday Inn. I freaked. I got the keys to the car and decided to flee the Key. Opening the door, howling winds and horizontal rains pelted me. There was no way out. Trying the phone back to my mother, the lines had dropped. I was left with no communication, no electricity, and not knowing if I had heard a demon instead of God.
It was about 1:00 AM. The eye was to hit at about 6:00 AM. I then heard a voice from the dead TV set. To this day, I do not know what it said. For sure it was a man’s voice.
My weather radio also died. The only sounds now were the shrieks of the winds which got more potent and boisterous. I was terrified.
I got my Bible and the flashlight and began to read from the Book of Job. It must have been 3:00 AM.
It’s in the midst of walking on water that God answers. It’s when we step out on the fragile limb that the Lord acts.
With flashlight shining on the giant print, and hooting winds engulfing me, I opened to the Book of Job. It wasn’t long before I came to the following verse.
Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
That is when I knew that God was speaking. God talking to Job out of the whirl wind! God was now talking to me out of the whirl wind! It was bizarre. As I read on I came to the following verse.
Job 40:15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
I know that the behemoth in the King James Version is cattle, a water buffalo, or a rhinoceros. But as I read this scripture, the rays of my flashlight hit a darkened part of the wall, and landed on a huge white moth! Behemoth….moth! The timing could only be God’s! It was surreal.
At about 3:30 AM the winds augmented all the more. I got angry at God. I ranted for half an hour at Him. I climbed on a chair and shook my fist at Him.
“You told me that the hurricane was not going to hit.” “You are lying to me, I am going die out here.”
Stuff like this went on as the winds grew and abounded before my ears.
I opened back to Job, frantic for an answer.
God then answers Job and me again from the whirlwinds. This time He rebuked me for my panicky rant.
Jb 40:6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.
14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.
I read on until Job 42.
Job 42:7 And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
At that moment that God says “ my servant Job shall pray for you”, I dropped my Bible, and lunged on my face unto the icy cold white tile floor.
“ Oh God, please forgive me, I was wrong. Please make the hurricane turn around.”
For ninety minutes I cried out with all my soul for God to have mercy and spare me. The winds amplified the more. I redoubled my efforts.
“ Oh God, I am sorry, please make the hurricane turn around”.
Then after an hour, lo and behold, with my face still buried frozen in the cracks of the floor, the winds began to decrease.
By 5:00 AM there was a significant reduction in the wind speed. I kept on praying. By six o clock the winds were only about 50 miles per hour. The eye should have been upon Miami. There was no power or phone. I had no idea what happened. I fell asleep exhausted.
In the early afternoon I walked to the 7-11 and bought a copy of the Miami Herald. I was then to discover that at about 5:00 AM when David was over the Bahamas, its steering currents shifted and thrust the hurricane northward. Indeed, David did not hit Miami. Indeed it was then that I began to hear and learn the voice of God.
My encounter with Hurricane David concluded in a most dramatic way. That fateful afternoon as the hurricane barreled northward away from Miami, I laid on my bed, alone in the still boarded home. I then heard a loud bell clang between my ears and a voice which followed “ Devastating hurricane, flee Homestead, flee Key Biscayne.” For years after this, I tried to understand why people should flee Homestead. Key Biscayne yes, but Homestead does not have an ocean or river. Well, we all know about Andrew and Homestead. Thirteen years after that voice, Homestead was decimated by the eye of Andrew. Every tree in Key Biscayne was splintered in half. When Andrews was coming, I tried to pray Andrew out of South Florida, but God would not let me. Only He knows why. God is truly amazing!