This last week in preparation for a Category 5 hurricane we all witnessed some amazing things. We were able to see how resilient and strong people really are. Currently as I am writing this blog, Florida is being hit on all sides and the weather channel is describing the catastrophic results. But here is what I have learned this week:
- People want to help people
- The storms of life reveal what is inside us
- The love of Christ covers a multitude of offenses
Yes, there are people who hoarded gasoline and water and such, but for the most part, people made themselves available to help others. Oswald Chambers in Utmost For His Highest writes:
We imagine we would be all right if a big crisis arose; but the big crisis will only reveal the stuff we are made of, it will not put anything into us.
Just as we prepared for the hurricane gathering supplies, batteries, waters, food– we must prepare for the crisis internally as well. Just as it is too late to prepare for the hurricane when the hurricane is upon us, it is too late to prepare for the internal stress that arises in times of crisis.
So what does internal preparation look like?
Our hearts must be positioned towards God and we do this by spending time in the secret place; the place where we make space for God to speak to us through prayer, listening for His voice, meditating on the Scripture. This is a daily lifestyle, not just a crisis mode.
Most of us live busy lives. It’s hard to find the time to keep up let alone set aside time to be with God. But friends, making space for God will prepare us for our days, whether they are stress-free or full of stress.
This past week I returned from being out of the country. It was a pretty rigorous trip and I came back exhausted. Upon returning my house flooded and my ministry started its first week of classes. Then Hurricane Irma appeared to be coming to Charleston so I had to prepare for that. I will be completely honest, my quiet times with the Lord were curtailed a bit however the peace I had came from the overflow of time spent with Him daily. I can’t say I was “whistling while I worked….” but I kept my heart centered on the Lord. I can’t say my words were always up lifting… so when I failed (and we all do:) ) I repositioned my heart and my words towards God.
The point is that a relationship with Jesus brings a supernatural peace to confront the worse. Some of you are going through life threatening illnesses; others are dealing with a broken relationship or have found yourself in difficulty financially. Some of you have been struck by Hurricane Irma and your lives are now in complete turmoil. Jesus did not promise us a trial-free life, but He did promise us that He would be with us through them.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33)
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20)