God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3 NIV)
My heart has gone out to all of those affected by the storms this past week. I heard from team members today who have family in S.C. how bad things are for many people. I do believe that a small group Bible study Class in our churches and campus ministries should respond in several ways for the Kingdom when storms cause hopelessness in our world. You can provide hope! Here are four ways to consider:
Open your eyes & hearts: It is easy for us to be bombarded with our own stresses and concerns. We can put blinders on much like the crowd in Mark 2:1-12, and miss that there was a paralytic that needed Jesus more than them. Pay attention to what is going on in our world. Pray for persons in harm’s way. Ask God what God would have us do.
Open your church. Many years ago my church was the only one with power in an ice storm. Open your church and provide meals as well as spiritual and emotional guidance in tough times.
Open your pocketbooks and time to volunteer. You and I have one of the best mobilizing force through disaster relief. The BGAV is one of the first phone calls the Red Cross makes when disaster strikes. Get trained. Volunteer. Provide money to help support disaster relief. Here is the link to learn more: http://bgav.org/glocal-initiatives/disaster/
Open God’s Word to address needs. It is okay to skip a lesson from your quarterly. The textbook has always been and should always be God’s Word! Quarterlies are a tool. Allow your group to discuss what God’s Word has to say about disasters. Psalm 46 is a great place to start! The Psalmist discovered the power of God through a storm in Psalm 29. Mark 4 and Matthew 8 discuss Jesus calming the storm. Storms in life will happen. May we be faithful to be God’s presence and offer a word of hope when they come!