Friday, September 12, 2008

4 Minute Devotions: I Don't Like Ike

The path of destruction that Hurricane Ike will unleash cannot be avoided. How Christians respond to the devastation will let the world know where God is in the midst of this impending disaster.

Podcast version here

John 11:37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"

On CNN the other day, I watched a report about some church members in Galveston, Texas, who were standing on the beach, facing the direction of Hurricane Ike. They were sincerely imploring the Lord to eradicate the storm before it hit their town. They were using written prayers, bible texts, as well as making pleas from their hearts. At one point, it sounded as though they were trying to impose their prayerful will over the force of the hurricane. We have a saying in Scotland that reflects the futility of such an action. We call it ‘peeing on the roses whilst the house is on fire.”

I do not doubt the sincerity, concern, and beliefs of those who were praying, but wouldn’t have all of that energy and time been better spent on preparing for the inevitable and ensuring that their church and homes were protected from the brunt of the storm? I love Christian people, but sometimes we can be amongst the most impractical groups of believers on Earth. I do not doubt the power of God to extinguish a hurricane, but I believe that He puts us on Earth to compassionately deal with calamities and disasters when they arise.

Last week, our wee church at Erin was involved with evacuated refugees from New Orleans. We partnered with the Red Cross in screening volunteers. Whilst the bigger churches in the area helped with food, shelter, and necessities for the evacuees, our role was to administer and organize the number of volunteers required. It was a great success and I am really proud that our wee church, in the midst of such a disaster, was able to do its part.

After Hurricane Ike has landed, some distraught people will ask the question, “Where was God when we needed Him? Why didn’t He extinguish this storm?” It’s the same as Christ’s people asking: "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?" It’s a tough question, but the one that I will be asking is this: “What are God’s people doing to help those who have suffered ruin, devastation, and loss from this storm? Where is God, in the midst of this destruction, now?”

Prayer: Father God, we pray for the people who have homes and businesses in the path of this fearful storm. We pray for Your protection and ask that all the preparations to evacuate the population and shore up their buildings prove to be sufficient, as well as efficient.

Help the Christian community throughout the United States to be prepared to help clear up the destruction, rebuild the storm affected areas, and offer support to those who lose much. Be merciful to us, O Lord. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

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