The Surprise Blessings from Waiting on a Storm
The title of this post might seem odd as you wait in line to fill up your tank with gas. Or maybe odder still as you travel to a second grocery store looking for a gallon of milk. But even during a week where we wait to see if a storm is going to turn this way or that, there are blessings all around us.
First, I want you to know that your pastors are praying for you this week. It can be stressful waiting, and boy does everyone around us seem to be on edge. This morning, we prayed in the office that you and your families would be safe this week. We prayed that you wouldn’t be anxious about tomorrow. And we prayed that you would see the surprising blessings from waiting on a storm. What does that actually mean? Let’s look at a few together.
1. It reminds us of who really is in control.
And what a blessing this truly is! So often in life, I slide into thinking that I’m the one in control. It’s my financial planning. My to-do list. My day.
But when a storm is on the horizon, it’s like God’s hand gently rests on my shoulder and helps me sit down. It can be scary when the illusion of our control over things bursts. But this is good news. Because I make a terrible god. And so do you.
Is there anyone in our church membership who can tell this storm where to go? No. But we all know the one who can and does.
In Mark 4 Jesus is in a boat with his disciples. A great storm rose up and the disciples, many of whom were skilled fishermen, began to despair for the violence of the storm. In their panic, they turn to look at Jesus and they find him asleep on a cushion.
They awaken Jesus and then accuse him of not caring about them. They say, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”. I wish I could say I would have done better than the disciples, but in all truthfulness, I probably would have done worse.
Jesus ignores their comment, gets up, and speaks to the storm. He says, “Quiet! Be Still!”. Guess what? The storm obeys Jesus.
We don’t know where this storm will turn in the coming days, but we do know this: the one who spoke to the storm in that boat still speaks today. Our God is in control of this storm, our health, our finances, our children, and everything.
And He has shown to us time and time again that He is good. So let’s trust Him together this week. When life is good and when it’s bad, God is the same and He is in control.
I hope this truth gives you great peace this week. As others around us panic and fret, we can be a peace-filled presence to those around us. Which brings us to the other two blessings.
2. It provides an opportunity to meet/reconnect with our neighbors.
Have you ever noticed that your neighbors seem to be chattier when a storm is approaching? I certainly have.
Everyone is out on their lawns making last-minute preparations. And I’ve noticed that when my neighbors see me, they often give a wave or even a shout. So why not take the extra step of walking over to them and starting a conversation?
Sure, it can be awkward, but whoever said following Jesus wouldn’t be awkward? And since we are all collectively waiting on the same thing, you have a perfect conversation starter.
I’ve tried doing this several times and you know what? They have been some of the most heartfelt and honest conversations I’ve had in years. Many people are on edge, and they are looking for someone else to be there with them. Others are lonely and just want to have something to share with anyone. Either way, it’s a great chance to meet your neighbors or reconnect with them. Bring some peace to them. Hear if they have any needs. Ask if you can pray for them. Which leads us to our final blessing.
3. We get plenty of chances to love others.
Whether this storm physically impacts our area or not, you will have plenty of chances to love others. In the coming days, you are going to see needs, both material and spiritual. You will likely hear the Holy Spirit prompting you to check on your neighbors or talk to a stranger at the grocery store. And you will notice opportunities to serve others.
Ephesians 2:10 says this, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Which means God himself has set this all up. He has prepared these chances for you to love others. I want to implore you; don’t walk past them!
Instead, the passage tells us that we should walk in them. It’s partly what we were created for. So instead of ignoring these chances to love others, let’s look for them. Even better yet, let’s be praying for them! I hope it’s exciting for you to know that God himself has prepared good works for you to walk in this week. Personally, I can’t wait to hear the stories.
Please know that we are here for you too. We will continue to pray for you all. If you have any needs or just want someone to pray with please reach out to the church office or email Shane at email@example.com.
I’m so looking forward to worshipping Jesus together with you all this Sunday morning.
on behalf of your pastoral team