I recall a season, not too very long ago, when I was begging God for relief. Being a pastor felt so hard. Being pummeled by my circumstances felt so hard. Being a human felt so hard. And I finally reached the point of telling God that I. Needed. Some. Relief.
But I remember the Spirit speaking to my heart in that prayer: there may not be relief coming. In this moment, in this season, on this costly path of the Jesus Way ... relief might not be right around the corner. But in place of relief, in this moment I will give you strength.
I remember the truth and beauty of this promise from God. Instead of relief, I began to look for strength. I remember telling this to Hannah in the midst of it, and she said the most beautiful thing to me: When you ask Him for strength, it's okay to still ask for relief too; I believe He will bring you both. And she was right. He did. He does.
PSALM 46:1-3 NIV
"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."
Today I am asking God for both of these things: relief and strength. For me, for you, for us. For our country. For our world. For the Beloved citizens of the Bahamas whose homes were decimated in the hurricane, and of the Carolinas who are still in its path. May we all find both refuge and strength.
This week, Element has a chance to be a part of the relief efforts for Dorian victims.
We will be supporting the efforts of Agape Flights to help with hurricane relief in the Bahamas. The first wave of their efforts is evacuation and rescue, but they are assembling supplies to take to the evacuation sights on the surrounding islands. We would like to invite Elementers to give new and unopened supplies towards this effort. Please see the list on our facebook page and bring any items to the gathering on Sunday, and we will deliver. Thank you, church.
May you find the refuge and strength of our Father today.
All my love,