With Dorian approaching, now a category 5 hurricane, I can see where some people are losing their faith. Once again, knowing who I am, what I believe in and what I do… I was questioned by many. This happens so often as I am surrounded by so many non-believers, I’ve started calling this the “Pastor-Bashing!”
“Why does God bring these disasters into our lives?” “Why would He put His people in harms way?” “Do you believe He does these things on purpose?” “Is He ‘testing’ us?”
My first and most obvious answer to these questions was this Bible verse:
1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Knowing this answer would not be satisfactory to the non-believers around us, I asked the people questioning me to consider the things I’ve seen throughout the past few days.
Please allow me to share some of these things with you this morning. Once you’ve heard me out, maybe you yourselves may be able to answer these questions on your own.
I’ll begin with what I have witnessed at my place of business this past Friday. As you might imagine, we were told to “prepare” the office for the storm.
Everyone there began the process:
- Picking-up computers from the floor and moving them to the inner-offices on the desktops and covering them with plastic bags.
- Collecting things from the tops of their desks and storing them inside where they wouldn’t be blown around the office.
- Gathering any “personal” belongings from their office and taking them home so they might be better protected.
Doesn’t sound like much, other than “the normal” for this type of event, right?
Is God in your workspace? If you don’t think so, remember what The Bible has told us:
1 Corinthians 3:9 – “For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”
So, what did I see? What was happening as a result of what was needed to be done to prepare for the storm?
- Business took a backseat – we had to ready the office.
- People worked together – it didn’t matter in which department you worked in or what level you were in the business.
- Others, that ordinarily had nothing to do with a particular area of the company, worked side-by-side with one another to prepare. (Technicians helping Accounting, HR helping Shipping/Receiving etc.)
In order to prepare, we had to put our differences aside and work together to help each other in preparation for potential tragedy.
My question back… “Why only now do we do this?”
Of course, it is of prime importance to take care of our home, our family and our pets as The Bible teaches us.
1 Timothy 5:8 – “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
I don’t know about your family but, I have to admit, there are many things we do as this storm approaches that we often forget to do when life is fine. If you think about it, these are the things God would want us to do and what we should be doing on a daily basis.
- We pray together – something we do, far too rarely!
- We believe together – as we do understand the need for faith and the importance of believing God is there for us.
- We spend time together – instead of slouching on the couch watching TV, playing video games and simply getting caught-up on social media on our phones.
- We actually talk to one another – Imagine that! Conversation at home these days is, sometimes, non-existent… but in times like these, it becomes even more necessary.
Again, my question… “Why only now do we do this?”
Okay, this was can be questionable but let’s take a look and before and after.
Before the storm…
- Initially, the stampedes – people rushing, panicking and knocking each other over trying to get things for the house “just in case!”
- The lines for gas – these can get nasty. A mile-long line at a gas station can certainly stir-up arguments.
After the storm…
Believe it or not, following a major disaster such as this could turn out to be, is where we often see the greatest sign of our Lord’s mercy in us.
- People that “have” helping others that “have not.”
- Neighbors helping one another to remove debris or take down storm shudders.
- Families bringing other families that may have been “displaced” into their own homes and offering them shelter.
These are the things that God wants us to do on a regular basis, not just through tragedy or disaster!
Hebrews 13:2 – “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
So, one more time… “Why only now do we do this?”
The Last Time You See Them?
I don’t know about you but, when I left my office on Friday, I looked at everyone a little different. This storm has the potential to be catastrophic. As I watched people leaving for home, I thought to myself, “Could this be the last time I see them?” I felt far greater compassion for them than I ever had… why only now?
Mark 12:29-31 – “‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
As Jesus said, “There is no commandment greater than these.” So, this Love and Compassion we show during times of tragedy should be a part of everyday life.
Sadly, I heard a meteorologist on the news this morning say, “Now is the time to love our neighbor!” This really saddened me!
Being one of the two greatest commandments given by God, loving our neighbor as ourselves should be one of our highest priorities in life! Not just during the storms!
When it comes to all that surround us, treat each day with kindness, compassion and humility as if it were the last day you will see them!
Let’s Answer the Question
Okay then, after seeing what I had seen and what you yourselves may have witnessed over the past few days, what do you think? I myself, am forced to believe that God may just send these storms in as a reminder to all of us.
If you see how life is without tragedy, you may also see why God has to “remind” us of what it is HE wants us to do.
Remember from 1 Corinthians, “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” God will provide for us… no challenge He puts before us will be greater than we can bear!
Something else I’d like you to remember:
- God isn’t concerned about your house.
- God isn’t concerned about your car.
- God isn’t concerned about your motorcycle.
- God’s concern is you, and all your Brothers and Sisters in Christ… and he will not bring YOU harm!
In Our Blessing
If God is compassionate to us through this storm or if it by-passes us and we are spared the disaster, we need to continue with our faith and prayer for the safety of all others in this hurricane’s path!
- Give thanks for His Blessings on us!
- Pray for those still in the path!
- Pray for the victims that have already been devasted by the storm.
- Remember the Lesson!
Love One Another Always
Not Just Now
Go with God; Love one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless (Amen)!