He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness in a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.
Thought for the Day: What can we we?
As our family took a few minutes last evening to prepare our home for the storm winds and rain we should be receiving today, my heart was breaking for those in Florida and Texas. We cleared the bicycles from our garage by putting them in our dining room so we could get our cars in, we checked the gutters to make sure the water would go away from the house as it rained, and we brought items in from our deck. Every step of the way I kept thinking, “This is nothing compared to what is taking place a few hundred miles south of us – how are they dealing with what has been and is happening?” And then I think, “What can we do from here, what can we do to help in some small way to bring them a little peace?” First, in the United Methodist Church, UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief – UMCOR.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the world. 100% of the donations go to projects to help those suffering. After Hurricane Katrina so many years ago, my dad traveled with a group to Louisiana as a part of UMCOR to help friends in need. These UMCOR friends are the hands and feet of Christ. Brothers and sisters around the United States are working as the hands and feet of Christ as they collect items for Hurricane Relief buckets of cleaning supplies to help in clean-up efforts. Our church has taken part in this ministry, with even the young people helping. What better way to help these children become Jesus to someone else.
As I wrote about UMCOR and Hurricane Relief buckets, there was one thing that was left out but which is the most important. Prayer! Prayer is our most clear and straight line of communication with God. It seems so small sometimes as we continue to pray, but it is also the most important. Reading an article in Guideposts recently, I read about a lady who for years added a concern in her church’s prayer listing. Staff members in the office, every week, wondered about those week by week prayer requests thinking that the prayer was not going to be answered. After a very long time, the prayer answer came in such a way that the people of the church knew the call for prayer by this lady every week was indeed answered…the week by week prayer request was worth it. Today, we pray and today we know that God is present with the people in Florida and Texas. Today, things are fresh and the weather system is still churning in part of Florida and will cross other states today. Tomorrow, the sun will shine and the truth of destruction will be made clear. But what about next month and next year – will we continue praying daily for these brothers and sisters. I hope the answer is yes – and I know that, in time – maybe much time – those prayers will be answered. Pray.
Prayer: Father God, we praise you today for the powerful love you show us every day. You are almighty and you are worthy of our praise. Today, God, many are hurting. Some have lost everything and some do not know what to do next. Be with these brothers and sisters today and let them know that you are near. God, be with them today. Help us to know how best to be there for these friends. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Hurricane