Now that we are all in serious hurricane preparation mode, I thought I would share this comforting word from Rick Monroe. Many of you who grew up in Savannah were blessed to know Rick from Young Life or church youth group. You know his giant-sized heart. I know him well in that sense. He has been selflessly serving Savannah’s youth for decades. Rick is also part of my family and serves Habersham generously. I know he is praying for all of us. Please allow his words to encourage you. He allowed me to share them with you. I am prayerfully thinking of all of you, now and in the days to come.
by Rick Monroe
Hurricane season is upon us. Texas has had its life changed….no one even knows how much at this point in time. Hurricane Irma is coming this way…leading millions to wonder if their own lives will be changing forever in coming days.
Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis….these are called “acts of God”.
Flowers, hummingbirds, breath-taking waterfalls, awesome sunsets, snowcapped mountain ranges and even healing of wounds or injuries are attributed to “Mother Nature”.
It seems that God has a public relations problem.
Spoiler alert: Mother Nature is an act of God. God spoke words and everything there is sprang into existence as He called them forth. “Mother Nature” is our invention…not His.
Sometimes things go wrong in nature as a result of our fallen world. But, God is in control.
How do we know? When Jesus came He calmed a storm with a word. He did not calm all storms. Just that one.
Jesus walked beside a pool at Bethesda where all manner of infirmed people congregated. He healed one paralytic. Just that one.
Jesus was healing people in a large crowd when He stopped and said, “Let’s go to the other side of the lake.” There, they met one deranged man in a graveyard which Jesus healed in the dark of midnight. Just that one.
I always wonder who was lying beside the paralytic at the pool. He might have said, “Hey, what about me?” Or maybe there was a mother with a paralyzed child who had stood in a long line all day, and she was next when Jesus left for the other side of the lake. She might have yelled out, “Hey, what about my baby?”
The fact is Jesus did not come to heal everyone or calm every storm. He showed His power in doing so, but only as credentials to His deity. He said that He “came to seek and to save that which is lost.” His bigger mission was to heal everyone….to calm every storm…..but not necessarily here. Just hereafter….for eternity.
I believe God calls us to pray for calming of storms and healing of infirmities. He can and sometimes still performs miracles. But sometimes He doesn’t….here.
He didn’t calm the storm when Peter began to sink, but He got him back into the boat safely. He didn’t heal Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” but He led him into all the known world to change history. He didn’t deliver John from exile, but He did show him a glimpse of Heaven so he could communicate his Revelation to the rest of humanity.
Maybe today you feel like you are sinking with a thorn in your flesh that has you exiled from peace and joy.
Remember: Jesus cares for every sparrow. He numbers every hair. He considers ever lily in the field. But He came…and died… for you. As if you were the only one. Just one.
God could have stayed afar off where hurricanes look like beautiful swirls of spotless white clouds. But He came from that lofty place down on the ground……in the midst of the storm, to ride it out with us and even lift us up to that place where we see the storm from His perspective.
“Peace. Be still.” Hurricanes really don’t change lives forever.