We are a people created for relationships. When we are separated from family or friends it can be for a variety of reasons – sickness, travel, death, anger, or in a social wilderness. We feel utterly alone in those times. Any time there is a ‘disconnect’, we want to do all we can to make it right again.
During the recent hurricane, I thought of all the households disrupted and unable to assure family and friends of their situation. We want to know! In today’s world, we rely heavily on the power to connect, be it the phone, iPad, computers or through various social media on the internet.
I think of those who traveled via the ocean or covered wagons, prior to 1860. That year the beginning of the Pony Express began. Before 1860, no sure way of communication existed.
Several times internet or power has failed me and I felt out of touch and helpless. How would I reconnect or how could I ‘recharge’ to continue to communicate again?
I watched the slow passage of the hurricane Matthew via radar on my computer and saw the utter damage the ferocity of the wind caused, plus the invasion of rushing waters flood homes and cars. I thought of the helplessness of older people, the sick or those with young children faced with unknown threats of death.
What does it take to survive such catastrophes as volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes and typhoons that threaten us? I read of another storm…
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” Mark 4:35 – 38.
What did Jesus say? When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:39-49
When we wake up in life to the storms we encounter and know we are in danger of drowning in a sea of turmoil, these words of Jesus play in our hearts and minds. In the moment we are frightened and then we realize the answer — Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. I John 4:18
If we walk in the darkness without His Love, we will stub our toe on fear.
In those moments when we cannot see the next step in life, recharging and refreshing our faith in the ultimate power of God is the only answer. He may not remove the threat. But He will walk with us and we will have peace through the storm. No matter how long or how ferocious it may be.
Trusting in God brings us strength for our time ‘in the wilderness’. An old hymn chorus brings hope and wisdom. “And He walks with me and He talks with me and tells me, I am His own.” (In the Garden – Anne Murray)
Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” We need to be reminded often and the storms in life capture our attention and remind us of God’s whisper, Be still and know!
Listening is more difficult in this world of distraction and connected to ‘know’. Elijah listened. I Kings 19:11-13 – “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
-Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.
-John 8:47 – Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”
-Romans 8:39 – No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.