Genesis 9:13 gives us a promise. The clouds will part and the sun will shine again. Things will be made right. It might take some time and there will be rebuilding process but recovery will happen.
In the spring of 2016 I thought that I would never see a flood on my mountain. Then one day the clouds gathered and dumped massive amounts of rain. The water ran off the hills and swept through my neighborhood. By the grace of God my property was relatively untouched. But just a little further downstream my neighbors were looking a disaster of epic proportions. I really expected to see the tiny community of Alta become a ghost town. There were piles of debris as tall as some of houses. But the people are strong and two years later there are only traces of the flood. The news called it a one thousand year event.
I’m telling you this story tonight because I have so many friends and family who are facing the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. I know that there will be heartbreak and dark days ahead. I know that the amount of effort to rebuild is daunting. But I believe in you and I believe in the promises of God. I hope that tonight’s feature image brings you hope and encouragement. I also have just learned about Typhoon Mangkhut which is twice the size of Florence and headed for the Philippines. I want to encourage you too! We’re praying for you as well.
With love and prayers,
Lloyd A Dempsey II
Nobody is born being an expert. We might all have different aptitudes for various skills but it’s practice that makes perfect. Even if we achieve the skill level of “expert” that doesn’t mean that we are free from simple human error. Suddenly being faced with the undeniable truth that you’ve made a royal screwup is God’s way of keeping us humble. In other words, oopsies are the great leveling force of the universe. Remember, it was experts that built the Titanic and amateurs that built the Ark.
When I saw the collection of lost fishing tackle snagged in the overhead power lines my first thought was that someone’s kids had been on their first fishing trip. This inspired the meme below.
But after some thought I began to consider the phenomenon of “muscle memory”. If you are trained to cast a line with a high arc you might not think to adjust your cast while standing under the power lines. Your reflexes would kick in and your body would react out of pure instinct. You would do the right thing but at the wrong time. This kind of mistake happens to all of us and it happens more often than we care to admit. It also happens during the thought process and when reacting to something that someone else has said or done. I think that’s why it’s important to be quick to forgive. Jesus said to let he who is without sin cast the first stone. While there’s different interpretations of what was being implied in this statement I believe that at least in part Jesus was pointing out that errors in actions often include errors in judgment and nobody is immune from this. The experts in the law were reacting out of reflex without examining the circumstances. It’s the same kind of mistake we all make every day.
“Be still, and know that I amGod: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
King James Version (KJV)
Sometimes it’s hard to simply be still. As humans, we are creatures of action. We want to make things happen on our schedule. We desire to crack open a situation and “fix” it to fit into our plans. However, it’s not our plans that need to be completed. God has a plan and He is able to complete it. We have all had the experience of the over eager helper who means well but messes up the plan by doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or even when it’s right thing but at the wrong time.
Imagine that you have a classic car and you’re preparing it for a show. Your child wants to help and you’re overjoyed. Now, imagine that you’re soaping up the driver’s side and you look up to find the child waxing the unwashed passenger side. There’s a big smile on his face because he’s giving you his best effort and he’s proud because he hasn’t missed a spot. How often do we mess up God’s plans by trying to help but not doing it at the right time? How often do we try to polish a soul that God is still cleaning? I know that the verse above is normally quoted by folks who mean to inspire a sense of peace but there are times when God is simply saying “Step back a minute, I got this”. In those times we need to step back and let God deal with it.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
King James Version (KJV)
If we simply define abundant life as living forever we are cheating ourselves out of blessings. Abundant defined as existing or available in large quantities; plentiful. But how do you define life? There’s a scientific definition. “organisms maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to stimuli, and reproduce. …“. But that cold laboratory life is merely biology. It can apply just as equally to a slime which has no dreams and ambitions. Life is energy in action. A dynamic flow body, mind and spirit. Science defines energy as the ability to do work. By implication abundant life from God is the ability to do work for God. Like batteries we fill up and release our energy into the world. Like a battery we must recharge on a daily basis. Our energy supply is plentiful and always available.