September 3, 2020
“Faith to Hold You in a Crisis”
By Pastor Jason Duley
It rained today, but not too much. I sat down to write this to you, thinking about people who are dealing with “too much.”
As Hurricane Laura approached the Gulf Coast last week, the storm went from a Category 1 to a Category 4 in record time. There’s a huge difference between those types of storms, it’s a difference of magnitude.
The devastation left by Hurricane Laura is not yet fully known. It takes weeks to know the extent of physical damage. Longer than that to gauge how people’s lives are torn. By the time the reckoning is made, the television cameras have usually left.
Our hearts and prayers are with the people affected by Hurricane Laura in the South, and also those facing devastating wildfires in the West—and with many other people elsewhere in the world who struggle with ongoing natural disasters. The world seems full of crises!
What I would like to share with you is something about faith that will hold you through a crisis.
Some of the damage from Laura is visible near Lake Charles, Louisiana.
What do you say to someone who just lost their home, a loved one, or their job? Where do we find our words for those in crisis?
When trouble hits, many people speak words they hope are helpful, like “God must have a plan” or “Everything happens for a reason.” I’ve found that that’s not particularly helpful. Our faith asks us to go deeper and to acknowledge that reasons are unfathomable, but that God is with us in all situations. I sometimes add that I think God hurts where we hurt.
The cross of Christ is strong evidence that God does not simply smooth over the rough places of life or put a band-aid on deep, deep wounds. God is with us, our suffering is known by Him. God is personally present in our pain.
Roman 8:28 says, “ We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” The passage employs an uncommon Greek word for “work,” synergeo (you can almost see the modern business term, “synergy”). It’s a word that suggests a team at work, but also a team that is itself part of the work. Perhaps a better translation is: “ God works all things toward ultimate good with and through those who love him.”
When storms happen, be they Category 1 or Category 4, God is there and desires to make things better with and through us.
One thing more that you can say to a person feeling the crush of any storm in life, and this you can do immediately, is to tell the person that you are with them.
Be with people in a time of need. This is compassion.
It rained an awful lot on millions of people recently. And many of them will be picking up the pieces of their lives for a long while. Let’s keep them all in our prayers. And let’s ready our own faith to be able to share clearly and compassionately with anyone who struggles. Faith holds us in a crisis.
Email me to let me know where your faith is carrying you these days. I’m with you! And it’s important to remain connected and compassionate. We’re all in this together.