"Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5: 1-5, HCSB).
My heart is out East tonight, where a devastating hurricane is ravaging the East Coast. It's rather surreal, living so far West. Our skies were blue today, our weather almost balmy. I even took a quick jog before dinner. It's so easy to stay removed, to ignore the news, and to not let my heart become involved. But then I start looking at the pictures, I hear updates on the radio, and my heart begins to hurt. I start to wonder what I could do. How I could become involved. Samaritan's Purse & The Salvation Army are already deeply involved in relief efforts. But where do I fit in? What can I do, from over a thousand miles away? How can I be involved. I truly want to look into these organizations a little bit more, and see if there's a way I can help. I'm sure the days to come will be long ones, even after the storm has completely passed.
Why is this so important to me? Because I have been given something wonderful. A peace that truly passes understanding. A love that I'm truly undeserving of. It's my desire to share this love with the world around me in practical ways. For how can God's love be shared, if I remain silent? If my heart sees a need, shouldn't my feet respond? Just how God will use me and my willing heart, I really don't know. I feel rather stuck here, in the middle of the country, but I know there are still ways to move, still ways to share. It will honestly have to be a matter of thought and prayer. I've never been through a trail quite like the hurricane out East at the moment. But I do know how God works through trials. I know that He teaches us some of life's greatest lessons through the hardest of times. Times of trial are times we learn to depend on Him like never before. I've experienced this through times of grieving, depression, and deployment. All of those times found me on my knees, at the foot of the cross, trusting God's strength would see me through. I pray that the same is true with those out East right now. That they, too, would turn to Jesus like never before. And that I would find some way to help them through this rough time. Because times of need are a time we all realize our true need for Jesus. Isn't it so?