Biggest solar storm in years races toward Earth

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Biggest solar storm in years races toward Earth

March 8, 2012 -

The biggest solar storm in years is coming your way.  A geomagnetic cloud known as a “coronal mass ejection” is racing toward us at 4.5 million miles per hour, arriving this morning.  “It’s hitting us right in the nose,” according to Joe Kunches, a scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This is the third solar event to strike our planet this week.  Two solar flares moving at nearly the speed of light reached us late Tuesday.  More solar radiation hit our magnetic field yesterday.  Now the plasma cloud, basically a large chunk of the Sun’s atmosphere, will arrive early today.  It is classified as an X-class storm, the strongest type of solar flare possible.

What does it mean for you?  If you happen to be reading this essay at the International Space Station, you might want to stay inside–space walks are a bad idea for the next several days.  If you’re planning to fly over the North or South Pole you should rethink your route.  The cloud could disrupt radio transmissions, satellites, power grids, oil pipelines, and anyone who depends on high-accuracy GPS systems.  In 1989, a similar storm knocked out the power grid in Quebec, plunging six million people into darkness.

And the Sun is only heating up, so to speak.  It goes through 11-year cycles of activity, with the peak expected next year.  What can we do to prevent these solar attacks?  Absolutely nothing.

Today’s solar attack is a metaphor.  You’re dealing with something this morning you didn’t plan–a health crisis in your family, a financial setback, a problem with your kids or marriage or parents, struggles at work or school.  One of my dearest friends was diagnosed yesterday with pancreatic cancer; I am grieving for him and his family this morning.  People who meet me for the first time today have no way to know that our oldest son has cancer.  I have no way to know what challenges they’re facing.  We all live in a fallen world, where solar flares can attack our planet and our souls.

Here’s the good news: the God who has sustained us in the past will do the same today.  When Moses stood before the nation of Israel, seeking to prepare them for the battles ahead when they entered the Promised Land, he made this profound statement: “Do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:18).  He hasn’t changed–anything God has ever done he can still do.

When did God defeat Pharaoh in your life?  What sin did he last forgive?  What prayer did he last answer?  What hurt did he last heal?  Know that he is waiting to act for your good and his glory today.  Name your crisis and trust it to his omnipotent hands.  My friend who received the cancer diagnosis yesterday tells us that “bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers.”  Why do you need to pray boldly today?

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