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Hurricane Sandy — A Pause

Posted on November 7th, 2012

Each day brings new stories and images of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. An old friend had his house completely washed away in the storm. He had built it himself. The following is from his e-mail to me two days ago: “I’m having trouble accepting this all as the will of God…The realization that everything a man has worked for in his whole life has been washed away in just one 2-3 hour period. I don’t know, but I wish I did.” Sandy is an invitation to pause and ponder. The following are a few thoughts out of my journal from this past week: 1. God is Greater and More Powerful than I Realize. He remains “seated on his throne, high and exalted” (Isaiah 6:1). The force and size of a hurricane is humbling. 2. You and I Are Not in Control of Our Lives or Destiny. Take another long look at the roller coaster in the picture. One very angry man in my neighborhood waited from Saturday night at 8 pm to Sunday at 4 pm only to discover no gasoline truck was coming. To say he was angry is an understatement. Our self-will resents and fights against limits in whatever form they take. 3. God’s Presence is Often Hidden. We need to be silent before Him, listening and paying attention. John the Baptist said: “I baptize with water but among you stands one you do not know” (John 1:26).  God so often dwells in darkness that we often miss him in even little things like waiting in traffic and a difficult conversation. Yet the simple practice of attending to where He is and what He is doing is enormously transformational. I am reminded that God calls Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon “my servant”! 4. The Journey with Jesus is One of Death and Resurrection. Just as the love and mercy of God was present in the crucifixion, so He is here in the midst of Sandy. We too can trust in the redemptive gift of suffering – for us, for others, and for the purposes of God in this world. What might you add to this list?

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