'Nations Prep for Strongest El Nino of This Century," proclaimed a Monitor headline on September 11. About the same time, hurricane Linda was paralleling the coast of Mexico with winds of over 200 miles per hour.
The unusual intensity of Linda was attributed to the phenomenon known as El Nino. Instead of affecting the mainland, Linda headed west over open ocean and soon dissipated.
As meteorologists become better able to understand and predict El Ninos, it becomes possible for people to be better prepared for their expected effects in various places, such as strong storms, drought, and excessive precipitation.
It is interesting to consider that this phenomenon of unusually warm ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific, seen in the past to occur around Christmastime, has taken on the name in Spanish referring to the Christ child. But the biblical prophet Isaiah referred to Christ Jesus as "The Prince of Peace" (9:6). Peace connotes the very opposite of destructive weather conditions. And the teachings of Jesus offer us help in the face of destruction.
One of the many healing records of Jesus' life involves the stilling of a storm. The Bible says: "And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they [the disciples of Jesus] awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." But that was not the end of the story, for it goes on: "And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" (Mark 4:37-40)
Good questions! They reverberate down the centuries to these times. Have we no faith? Is some weather condition more powerful than God, or is it indeed an act of God? Surely, if perishing on the Sea of Galilee had been God's will for them, Jesus' stilling of the storm would have contradicted God, whose very good creation does not include anything destructive or destructible.
Jesus' questions to his disciples indicate that they could have faced that storm fearlessly if they'd had faith in God's willingness and ability to care for them. And the same protection is available to us in any circumstance, as we trust in God, know Him better, and thereby eliminate fear.
"The manifestations of evil, which counterfeit divine justice, are called in the Scriptures, 'The anger of the Lord.' In reality, they show the self-destruction of error or matter and point to matter's opposite, the strength and permanency of Spirit [God]. Christian Science brings to light Truth and its supremacy, universal harmony, the entireness of God, good, and the nothingness of evil" ("Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 293). On the basis of these facts - truths she saw in the teaching of Jesus - Mary Baker Eddy, who wrote those words, prayed about the weather. Once, when a tornado threatened her home, she is reported to have prayed immediately, along with the members of her household, to realize that there are no destructive elements in God's creation. And the tornado changed course, moved away from populated areas, and caused little damage. Quite possibly, the speedy demise of hurricane Linda might have been brought about by the prayers of other fearless and faithful individuals.
While it's not accurate to say that one can pray successfully to control the weather, we can always pray to see proof of the fact that God is in control and that, therefore, "evil is not power" (Science and Health, Pg. 192). Christian Science has proved that understanding the omnipotence of God destroys the evidence of evil and lifts us out of troubled situations of every kind, including illness.
There is something to be done about El Nino. We can join in prayer to prove that because God is good and the only power, we need not be harmed by the destructive results of a warm Pacific. Predictions of turmoil are always cause for waking up and praying to see evidence of God's peaceful, nondestructive power.