As Hurricanes Harvey and Irma bring destruction to so many, and not forgetting the anniversary and loss of lives from 9/11, I am reminded that this earth is frail and temporal. Everything we see, touch and taste can be gone in the blink of an eye. My heart aches for those who live in the paths of these catastrophic storms, taking everything they have worked for and leaving extensive wreckage behind. Many ask, why does the Lord allow such devastating events to occur? How could the God who claims to be full of love and compassion permit such harmful events? Part of my answer is: To allow us to see the flaws of this world, to strengthen us though adversity, to give others opportunity to be compassionate and generous toward those in need, and above all to teach us to seek His face when life is not fair.
Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Satisfy me with Your unfailing love in the morning, that we may sing for joy and be glad all of our days. May Your deeds be shown to Your servants, Your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us: establish the work of our hands for us - yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:1, 12, 14,16 &17 NIV
Psalm 90 is a prayer written by Moses, “the man of God” who was familiar with the struggles, but who also enjoyed the close fellowship with the One who is control of all things. Born a slave, raised in the splendor and opulence of the Pharaoh, called to lead God’s chosen to the dessert, Moses knew the faithfulness of the Lord. Similarly, we live in an affluent country where those in poverty have more than the majority of the world. When an event like these hurricanes come, hurting and need become the great equalizer. Those without power and shelter in Houston are very much the same as those left homeless in Leeward Islands, Cuba and Florida. Knowing the Lord has a plan to rescue those who are suffering, like the children of Israel, can provide hope for those who will turn to Jehovah for their rescue.
I encourage you to take time to discuss the hurricanes and their effects with your children, even if they are small. Honest discussions about the storm’s devastation and the suffering of those who live in these areas, will open your children’s eyes and hearts and help them learn that our security is in the Lord as our dwelling place, not in the earthly homes we have built. Our homes, while nice and comfortable are temporal, like the wilderness tents of the Children of Israel, and not intended to provide complete security. The Lord is our strong shelter and refuge in times of trouble.
As a family decide how you will become involved. Prayer, donation of home goods and clothing, or possibly a lemonade stand to raise money for school supplies. Helping your children participate in the relief will be a life lesson is service to others. Demonstrate generosity and selfless compassion so your children will see the Lord establishing the work of your hands for His glory and splendor.
To all those facing and living with the results of Harvey and Irma, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Please know that as members of the family of God, we stand alongside you and offer our support to help you rebuild lives and homes. Be strong and of good courage for our Lord has overcome the world.
Holy Father God, we rest in the assurance that You have ALL things in hand. There is nothing that occurs that is too hard which You do not have dominion over. While these storms bring hardships to our brothers and sisters, they also bring opportunities for us to demonstrate Your love and compassion through our generosity. O Lord, please establish the work of our hands, to show Your deeds and the love You have for Your children who are hurting. Let Your Holy Name be praised through our service to each other. May events like these storms remind us to find our satisfaction in Your unfailing love and may we sing with joy and gladness knowing that all we can see is temporal, but You, Elohim, are eternal. Amen