Hurricane season in Belize has been active, but mostly harmless this year. In September, Hurricane Nana made landfall. Some crops were wiped out and there was some damage, but much less than was expected. Last week, Eta hit Central America with a punch, causing record-breaking flooding in many parts of Belize. Thankfully no lives were lost, but scores of families have been displaced, their houses and businesses lost to the flood waters.
Belizeans are resilient. They are working together to ferry people past washed-out roads, to feed and clothed displaced families, to create temporary shelters from the storm. Without a large national emergency budget or individual home/property insurance, the cleanup will be costly and take time. In a year like 2020, I wonder how much stamina they have left. At what point do you raise the white flag and surrender?
Belize's general election is tomorrow, November 11th. The country will be electing its next Prime Minister in the midst of double National Emergencies: Covid 19 and hurricane relief. During this current administration, corruption has soared and become commonplace, leaving its citizens ignored, battered and jaded. I wonder how long can they weather that storm before losing strength.
"Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where the floods overflow me.
I am weary with my crying;
My throat is dry;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God."
Whether our storms are medical, political, financial or meteorological, we've all felt inundated and out of our depth; flooded by circumstances and feelings of helplessness. God's Spirit offers peace in the storm; steady ground to stand on. There are practical things we can (and should) do to right wrongs. We should deliver aid, we should vote and reach out in love. But when the waters rise despite our most valiant efforts, only He can pull us out of the pit.
But I pray to you, Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. 14 Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters. 15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me.
16 Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.
This week, may we draw on the Spirit to guide us in actions of grace and mercy. May His Spirit help us keep our heads above water.