"...strange and terrifying things..."
" There will be terrible earthquakes, famines, and plagues everywhere; there will be strange and terrifying things coming from the sky." (Luke 21:11)
Yesterday there were, in fact, many strange things coming from the sky in several parts of our country. For some, the sky was filled with threatening clouds, driving winds, pounding rain, and shredded debris. Apparently there are many today who are awakening to unbelievable devastation. When they emerge from shock they most likely will be overwhelmed with feelings of disbelief, anger, and sadness, just to name a few.
In our area the clouds were of a different, but strange nature, dropping about eight inches of very heavy snow on our area and cutting power to many residents. Snow on fresh-growing roses is strange.
When Jesus spoke the words recorded in the Gospel of Luke, "there will be strange and terrifying things coming from the sky," he used them to indicate that the presence of the strange activities would signal that God was about to act in an important way. As I've said before, I do not know why bad things such as yesterday's storm happen, but I do know that the strange events do signal that God is about to act in an important way. God is about to use us to help those who were somehow hurt in yesterday's storm. God is about to act through us to bring hope.
It literally blows my mind when after catastrophes like yesterday's storm I hear stories about predators who try to take advantage of storm victims with various scams. Such stories remind me that evil is alive and well - busily at work to bring about even more heartache and destruction. However, what gives me hope are all the stories I hear of neighbor helping neighbor and stranger helping stranger. That tells me that God is at work overcoming the powers of darkness with caring, compassion, and hope.
There are many organizations already hard at work to bring relief and hope to the survivors of yesterday's destruction. I hope that you'll want to be part of God's response of hope. If you're looking for a way to help, I would suggest a gift through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). UMCOR has an excellent track record for efficiently and effectively offering relief in these types of disasters in our own country and abroad. Here's the link for UMCOR's website if you would like to help:
I pray that when these kinds of strange things happen God will help me look for the ways God is ready to act for compassion, caring, and hope so that I can be part of the hope offered to others. How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia
PS --- No one received Wednesday Wonderings last week because my laptop crashed while I was in Dallas for some training and speaking. It was the first Wednesday in three years that Wonderings did not go out.
Help save lives! For more information on my new book, "A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression," visit www.survivingteendepression.com.