Wed., Aug. 29, 2018
Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider how to spur one another to love and to good works. Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but let us exhort one another, especially as you see the Day approaching.
When you see this sitting in the middle of a road, it isn’t a good sign.
A week ago, I shared how our former hometown, Mazomanie, WI was affected by recent rains and flooding.
Since then, it seems the water hose hasn’t been turned off in southern Wisconsin. Over the weekend, people worked non-stop in our capital city, Madison, WI, sand bagging.
Sunday night, we had more rain.
Monday night, we had more rain.
Tuesday night, we had more rain.
Some locations have had 15 inches within a 12-hour time period with additional rain almost daily.
The rivers are overflowing.
The lakes are drowning.
Bridges and roads are swallowing up vehicles.
Several sections of the interstate.
Figuring out how to get someplace takes a serious understanding of local roads.
Homes and businesses are one hot mess.
Lives have been disrupted.
Businesses closed for days.
Shelters set-up in schools.
This bull is confused as he stands in the middle of a bridge in Coon Valley, WI. Yep, this a real bull; not an imitation.
Lambeau Field, home of the NFL Green Bay Packers, is one big puddle.
The popular Wisconsin Dell’s ducks became part of the solution. These unique vehicles were built and used during WWII. They go from land to water with no disruption. Tuesday night, they weren’t hauling tourists through the spectacular scenery of the Wisconsin Dells area. They were rescue vehicles, getting people to safety.
Farmers who have been struggling with low commodity prices and barely hanging on have crops standing in ridiculous amounts of water.
And the list could go on.
A whole bunch of people are praying to God right now. How might their prayers sound?
“Hey, God. You can turn the fire hose off any time.”
“Thanks for the rain … but isn’t this a little over the top?”
“Why so much devastation? Why so many people are affected?
“Isn’t enough, enough?”
I cannot answer any of these questions on behalf of God. I would like to know a few of these answers as well.
What can I say about this ongoing devastation?
God is with you. The person who lost their house and basically everything in it. The business owners who are trying to find a temporary location. People who lost a vehicle. Emergency personal who stayed on the job while their personal property was affected. Nursing homes limited supplies.
And the list goes on and on.
How do I know God is with you? I see people volunteering and helping. I see unselfish giving. I hear and read of examples of people doing any little thing to help: wash laundry, bring food, provide items, and so many other ways so those affected can try and put one foot in front of another yet one more day.
This is called community. When Jesus walked the earth, he gave us a wonderful example of community: he called 12 guys to be part of his inner circle. He instructed them to depend upon each other, not just themselves. He taught example after example of how to love, respect and honor each other.
This is how God speaks to us through disaster: through others within our community. Whether someone declares themselves as a Christian or not, I believe God can use us to help and serve each other. When we become the hands and feet of God, then the community of God is already in action.
For some, this is not enough. “Why can’t God just speak to us? Why doesn’t God step in and answer my prayers?” we ask. Sometimes, this just isn’t God’s way. Read these words carefully:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
When we run out of words to say and pray to God, it’s OK. In these moments, the Holy Spirit steps in and prays for us.
The most ideal community is found within the Trinity of God. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit form a unique relationship and bond. This is our model for community. When we no longer have words, the Holy Spirit steps in and speaks for us to the rest of the Trinity.
How amazing is this?
Through all this wet and wickedness, I pray we see the benefits of community.
For community, I am grateful. For the Holy Spirit’s intervention when I run out of words, I am grateful.
Almighty God – maybe we’re out of words. Maybe we’re frustrated beyond belief. Maybe we just don’t know what to do. May we paused and seek you first. Bring us into a community where we are loved and accepted. Amen.
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