We recently had the rare experience of being in the path of a major hurricane. We also had the rare experience of having Sunday worship service in the dark, due to the power failures – just like the first century Christians who worshiped in dark catacombs – and me preaching without a microphone.
I will never forget the love and care our church members showed us after the hurricane.
One brought a portable burner for us to cook with, and many brought food they bought or prepared at home. The morning after the hurricane, a deacon and his wife came and removed large tree branches and debris that had fallen on our lawn before taking care of their own property. A Shepherd came with two workers and cleaned our front and back yards thoroughly. One family brought a generator for us to use and dropped by regularly to make sure that it didn’t run out of fuel. Numerous people visited and called us to make sure that we were OK.
I know that we received special treatment because I am the pastor of our church. But I also know that this caring wasn’t limited to my family. Everyone was under hardship, but people took care of others who were in worse shape. They took care of the pastors who were in town for a two-week internship by bringing them portable stoves and food, and taking them in their homes when their power was restored earlier than for the intern housing.
It’s a privilege to pastor a church where the people are so willing to serve.
I was awake when the hurricane hit our area. It was so turbulent that I thought the roof would blow away any minute, and that our house would collapse at any time. But this passed, and I could sense when the hurricane was moving on. After a while, the storm turned into a gale. Then the gale turned into a wind, then just a breeze. Eventually, the wind stopped and the sun emerged.
I think that sometimes life is like a hurricane. When we are in the midst of trouble, we can feel like it will last forever. But it never does. A storm of life turns into a gale, then a wind, then a breeze and finally it stops, and the sun shines through.
I think having an attitude like this is not just wishful thinking, but the assured hope of the children of God.
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