Hurricane Harvey has rightfully dominated the news this past week. It was the strongest storm to hit Texas in 50 years. At least 38 people have died as a result of the storm. Flooding remains a dangerous threat as over 50 inches of rain has fallen since the storm hit. Between 30,000 and 40,000 homes have been destroyed in Houston alone. Other cities have been hit equally hard.
The question that arises when catastrophes like this hit is; “How are we to respond to such events in light of our faith in the sovereign God of the universe?” There are at least five responses that seem appropriate to me:
- Storms such as Harvey display the awesome power of God to the world. No matter what we humans try to do to control the forces of nature, we cannot. It is God who unleashes the power of weather to accomplish His purposes (e.g. the crossing of the Red Sea, the midday storm at the crucifixion of Jesus)
- Life is a vapor. Our circumstances can change dramatically, in an instant. This should make us zealous to always be ready to meet our Maker in heaven.
- No matter what challenges we may happen to be facing, there are many others who have even worse challenges and circumstances. Our problems are not the biggest ones in the world.
- We should be prompted to drop to our knees in prayer for those who have been caught in the storm—praying for God’s grace to be evident in the aftermath.
- Finally, if we are able, we should do something tangible to help our brothers and sisters who were in the path of the storm—pray, check on family and friends there who may need our help, give financially to support ministry to the victims, go there yourself and volunteer to help with the cleanup and restoration.
A storm like Harvey gives us the opportunity to both worship such an awesome God who controls the winds and the seas, as well as to be agents of His mercy as we show mercy and kindness to those in need.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matt. 5:7
Trusting in the Sovereign Grace of Almighty God,
- Please pray as our new students get acclimated to life at Bethlehem College & Seminary. This is a big adjustment for many of them. Pray that the Lord would uphold and sustain them and protect them from evil.
- Please also be in prayer for our new faculty members. It’s new job, a new set of students, a new community, and a new church for each of them. These first weeks are especially challenging as they are busy teaching their new classes and getting to know hundreds of new people at both the school and the church.
- Please continue to be in prayer for our financial growth. We have been blessed by the Lord in so many ways so far! Now, we are asking him to provide for us some substantial gifts that would help make us strong for the long-term future.
- Please also pray for our board as we are in the process of adding new trustees. This is a critical process as our board is being expanded to help with the increasing work load. Pray that the Lord would lead us to the right individuals.