It’s hard watching the effects of Hurricane Harvey. My heart hurts as I read of the requests for baby formula and diapers. I cheer as I see regular Joe’s and ordinary people working alongside of first responders. Ordinary heroes tugging along in their fishing boats, using what is available to them to rescue families and children, neighbors and friends. With flood waters raging around them Texans are linking arms to help elderly to safety. People from Florida read a tweet from some senior citizens trapped in the assisted living housing, and they inform first responders and soon after help comes. The stories of heroism are going to keep seeping in slowly. The stories of the devastation and the loss are going to keep streaming across our televisions, and I’m going to keep feeling this need to help. What to do? I want to drive to south Texas and pull our boat and help with the rescue efforts. I want to pack up all the formula and diapers I can get my hands on and send them down. I will do my research and send money through hands on ministries. But is that enough? What can I do? And then the Lord reminds me, “You can pray. You can do that.” It was the lesson I learned from Anna the prophetess when I wrote my first book, “Through Their Eyes.”
Yes Lord Yes I can do that. You see, I can’t physically do enough. I’m not trained in rescue attempts like those needed. I’m afraid my presence would only muddy those swirling waters. I will hamper the efforts and get in the way, but I know the One who can help. I know how to get in touch with Him, and I know His power. He is the One who knows how to get in touch with just the right person. He knows how to direct each FEMA worker to the location of those in trouble.
I have met Him in the Word of God. Mark chapter 4 to be exact.
“On that day, when evening had come, He told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was already in the boat. And other boats were with Him. A fierce windstorm arose and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then He said to them, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?” And they were terrified and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Mark 4:35-41 HCSB.
Isn’t that our first response when calamity hits? Lord don’t you care? I’m going to be the first to tell you, “I am just like the disciples.” I have my questions when I see little kids arriving at the shelters with nothing but the clothes on their backs, but that is why I am clinging to this story from Mark 4. When I don’t understand I do what writers do. We write, and I am learning to go to the word of God. I know somewhere in those sixty-six books of the Bible I will find this exact story that is being played out across our televisions set has already been experienced by someone in God’s Word.
Just like in this story, Jesus is already in the boats. The disciples weren’t the only ones experiencing the crashing waves. Jesus was in the back of the boat where the wind and waves would have tossed Him also. When I don’t understand Jesus allows me to come to Him with my questions and my fears. He doesn’t turn me away. He stands up and rebukes the storm.
He is there in His people handing out warm blankets and a hot meal. I may question, “Don’t You care?” But He will answer, “Yes, watch as people put aside their differences to lend a helping hand.” Jesus does ask me, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?”
I do not have the power within me to give the people of South Texas what they need. Our government doesn’t have that power either. Pretty soon the need will outweigh the capabilities of FEMA and the rescue efforts. I do feel inadequate, but I’m suppose to because I am not God. We are each like the little boy with 5 loaves of bread and two small fish. In our hands it is a meager helping, but it is a helping none the less. We give out of our meagerness and we put it in the hands of the One who calms the wind and sea and we watch the miracle.
Then we give the best thing we have. We give south Texas our prayers. We go to the back of the boat with our concerns and fears. We pray for Him to calm the flood waters. God caused the flood to recede once before, why do we question if He can still do it? Remember the rainbow.