Christian athlete Tim Tebow has said he's praying for Florida and urged Floridians to keep trusting God, as He's "got a plan for everything" after Hurricane Irma battered much of the state, knocking out power to millions of people.
Tebow, the 29-year-old former college football star who now plays for the New York Mets high-A affiliate team, St. Lucie Mets in Port St. Lucie, Florida, addressed Floridians in a video posted to his social media accounts Monday afternoon.
"What's up, Jacksonville and the state of Florida," Tebow said. "I know there's a lot of people hurting right now, but the awesome thing is that we are going to rally together and try to help everybody. We're praying for you."
Tebow gestured to the home behind him, where a tree had fallen through the roof as a result of the storm.
"I'm here at one of my neighbor and friends' house, and he has a tree going through his house," he said. "I know it's a tough time for so many people, but just know we're praying for you - God's got a plan through everything, so keep trusting Him. God bless you guys."
Hurricane Irma barrelled through the Florida Keys on Sunday before pushing its way north, flooding streets and leaving millions without power. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Irma would continue moving north over the western Florida peninsula through Monday morning and then into the southeastern United States late Monday and Tuesday.
Nearly 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to evacuate, including 6.4 million in Florida alone, CBS reports.
On Twitter, Tebow urged his 4 million followers to join him in volunteering at local shelters.
He later tweeted, "FL, let's help bring Faith, Hope & Love to those taking refuge in our Florida Special-Needs-Shelters! #HelpMakeADifference."
The athlete also tweeted out a Bible verse: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1."
On Friday, Tebow told The Paul Finebaum Show he's working with Gov. Rick Scott's office in Florida to help spread the word on volunteer efforts.
"We don't know what the hurricane's going to do, but probably a lot of people are going to need help," Tebow said. "There's no answer for it, but the best answer we know is for people to rally together and love one another. That's the best answer I know and it's amazing when tragedy happens, sometimes it does bring people closer together."
Addressing the game cancellations throughout Florida, Tebow said, "You know how much I love football and are passionate about it, but when you're talking about people's lives and their possessions and everything that they hold dear, a game doesn't compare to that. We love it. We get paid to do it, but the safety of everybody in Florida, and everybody in Texas and wherever these hurricanes are going to hit, that's more important."
Tebow, an outspoken Christian, grew up in Florida and won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and a national championship at the University of Florida in 2009.