Jeremiah 24:7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (NIV)
Our thoughts and prayers today are with the people and nations, including our own, who have been, and will be severely impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Millions of people have already been affected and we’re still waiting to see what damage has occurred in Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas, as well other places in the Caribbean.
Our storm technology gives us advance warnings, but even though it will save every life of those who evacuate, the hurricane will still tragically take some lives and damage millions of dollars’ worth of property. How we respond to such a cataclysmic event will prove what’s best and noble about humanity; how we support those who may lose some or everything, will show how much compassion and love that we have for one another.
Today’s verse from Jeremiah is an ancient promise that God gave when His people faced destruction through invasion and war. The prophet’s words were meant to reassure both the generation that experienced the crisis, as well as their descendants. God wanted all of them to understand that in the midst of the disaster, He was still with them and willing to help restore them. As people of faith, our response to the devastation of Hurricane Matthew should reflect the same love and compassion.
Prayer: Lord God, we pray for the millions of people and families who will be deeply impacted and personally affected by Hurricane Matthew. We pray that its existence will be short, allowing the local inhabitants to return home soon. Grant our people, in unaffected areas, to both give and do whatever we can to alleviate the distress, repair the damage, and restore the communities involved. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment, ask questions, or make suggestions about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s crayon drawings called “A Sea of Brollies.” (A brolly is the British word for an umbrella). If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Brollies.