Written on November 1st, 2012
Bear with me as I try to find my voice in the eye of the storm. Wow, what an incredibly awful time we are in the midst of right now. The storm (Sandy) has passed but we are still living with the lingering effects. Many are still without power. We were without power for 48 hours. New Durham Chapel is still without power. Monday night was a night straight out of hell. Surrounded by trees, we heard banging all night long. One loud bang resulted in me going up into the attic to look for damage; thankfully there was none. We have a gas shortage in our county (and several others) that has resulted in rationing. Some gas stations can’t get to their gas supply because they have no electricity and others are running out of gas because of such demand. People are sitting in gas lines for hours and the police are even out managing traffic control for the gas lines. Five days later (Saturday morning) there are still many traffic lights that are not functioning and efforts to clear debris are still ongoing. What does God desire of us at this moment?
In time like these I take comfort and courage from the story of Paul and Silas found in the 16th chapter of the book of Acts. Remember the story, Paul and Silas had been whipped and beaten and thrown into solitary confinement for preaching the gospel and performing a miraculous deed. In the midst of their brokenness and bleeding we read “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the prisoners were listening to them,” (v.25 NKJV). Singing and praying in the midst of the storm. Let us never forget that our God reigns. We can truly rejoice that in this storm God didn’t allow it to rain on us. The weather forecast was for us to get 3-5 inches of rain. If that had happened, the damages and flooding would have been much greater. Remember that God’s mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness.
We all have a desire when storms hit for life to return to normal as quickly as possible. But what if life never returns to normal? Can we trust God to walk with us through the storm and to deal with the aftermath? On September 11, 2001 thousands of family lives were changed forever. Fifteen years ago our family was hit by a tidal wave when the school our 2 middle children were attending didn’t bother to do a police background check on a man who was set up as a mentor for our 2 teens. Our lives never returned to normal. But in the midst of the storm and the aftermath I found that God is there, if we simply call on Him and trust Him to work.
Jesus Christ has invited us to bring our burdens to Him. He can see us through the most painful and difficult circumstances. Believe me I know. Remember in the story in Acts God sent an earthquake to release Paul and Silas. Their praying and singing resulted in an awesome opportunity to bear witness to Christ in the midst of the storm. What does God desire of us? Let us go on praying and singing His praises even when we don’t understand what He is doing. He doesn’t always send an earthquake for our deliverance but He will certainly send His Spirit if we lift our voices in song and adoration. Remember His mercies are new every morning, even in the midst of the storm.
All for Christ,
Pastor Rich Sivo