The images over the past couple weeks have been riveting. We’ve all been watching with concern as Hurricane Harvey ravaged countless communities and cities in South Texas & the Gulf Coast. News reports further indicate the recent disasters of Hurricane Irma. and possibly Hurricane Jose In the Atlantic . These powerful hurricanes that are producing heavy rainfall, damaging winds and subsequent flooding are unprecedented and exceeding expectations. We praise God for the thousands of rescues taking place around the clock and for the churches, agencies, shelters and neighbors helping people survive & ultimately rebound from these catastrophic events. How can we help?
Of coarse that is not all we do but it is of utmost importance. As Christ followers, our first inclination in times of struggle and strife should be to fix our eyes not on the disaster itself, but on the God who promises His steady presence throughout it. Rest assured, prayer changes things but it also prepares and direct us through those changes. If we find ourselves slipping into dangerous patterns of worry on behalf of those in need, prayer is our most powerful and surest remedy.
We pray for the safety of victims, their families and for the first responders. We trust God as we use the authority He has given us to speak to the storms that they would dissipate and cause the floodwaters to recede swiftly. We trust God to dispatch resources from Heaven and earth to sustain, maintain and rebuild all that has been lost. We pray the hand of the Lord & wisdom rest on every official making decisions on behalf of the people. We also rebuke the enemy that has come to steal, kill and destroy. We ask the Lord what He would have us to do to support in the relief efforts.
Second, Be Well Informed.
It can be surprising how valuable knowledge of the situation and the victims’ specific needs can be. Sending socks, winter parkas, and snow boots is a nice gesture for victimsofasnowstorm,butitwoulddonothingtoassistvictimsofthe2010 earthquakeinHaitior Hurricane Harvey today. There is always a way to find out the specific needs of a situation, and with all the communication today, it doesn’t take long to research. It’s a simple rule: before you try to help, make sure you know who you’re helping. With these disasters, the organizations are re- questing monetary donations. Any amount helps.
Third, Consider Contributing..
Even if you can’t go, you can help the relief workers and supplies get where they are most needed. In many cases, donations are just as effective as volunteer work. That being said, before clicking the donate button, or writing the check, it is important to find reputable, well-established relief agencies that are on the ground at the site of the disaster and ready to work. These organizations have stated to donate 100% of the monetary donations to the relief efforts. In some cases you can designate which relief effort you are specifically supporting.
The ongoing prayers & support in the weeks, months & years ahead are essential.
The on going prayers & support in the weeks & months ahead are essential.
Matthew 8 is a powerful example of what we are called to do when disasters are imminent and we feel out of control. We look to Jesus, the One who, by speaking a word, can calm all storms. We focus on Him. And then we follow Him into the disaster as He guides.
Whatever He calls us to do, we can be sure of one thing: He isn’t calling us to do nothing.
What we see on television impacts us whether we live in on the Gulf Coast or not.
When one suffers, all suffer, and this can be the time when the Church shines the brightest.
Believe it or not , God can cause harvest time in the midst of chaos.