Weekly Devotional

Each week a devotional is sent to recipients around the country.  It begins with a story taken from my personal life, history, news media, or a current trend in society.  The story then connects with relevant passages from the Bible, and concludes with a challenge to consider personal applications.  These devotionals are intended to present the truth of the Bible to a non-christian, enlighten a new believer, as well as provide scriptural insight to the mature Christian.  This week's devotional  is provided below; don't forget to check this page when you return.  Anyone can join the list of recipients by contacting me at know.doubt.268@gmail.com .  There is no charge.  Your address is not shared with anyone.  And you can drop off the mailing list at any time.

Outlook on Weather   (August 7, 2020)

For more than a week we received updates on Hurricane Isaias. The storm was predicted to make landfall in South Carolina then head up the coast toward North Carolina. The eye was to pass through Greenville, where we live. The forecast was dismal. Winds could reach 80 mph, more than 6 inches of rain might fall, and the storm surge would flood low lying areas along the Tar River.

Kathie and I prepared as best we could. We had non-perishable food, cases of bottled water. Cell phones were charged. My poncho and mud-out boots were out of the closet. Go-bags were ready. The most important preparations, though, were in our prayers several days before Isaias hit. Not that the Lord would spare us, but that we would find blessings, and be a blessing, during the storm.

The first blessing came when I found a Family Circus comic strip by Jeff Keane, published six weeks earlier in a local newspaper. In the panel, 7-year-old Billy, the oldest child, says, “There is no such thing as bad weather. There’s just different kinds of good weather.” In his mind you see Billy throwing snowballs, losing his hat in a windstorm, hopping through puddles in the rain, and laying under a tree on a sunny day. All brighter sides of what some might consider bad weather.

The night before the storm I shared the comic with Kathie and offered some brighter perspectives: If we lost power, we would just go out to dinner - at our backyard barbeque. This could be a chance to have a candlelight dinner. And we would not have to fight over the TV remote.

 I wasn’t making light of the approaching storm. Rather, I was choosing to uncover potential blessings amid a tempest. Faith in God doesn’t mean we will never encounter storms. But, by faith, we have the Lord’s promise He will be with us when we pass through waters or walk through fire (Isaiah 43:1-2).

I cannot explain why God would allow one person to experience tragedy and another to remain unscathed in the same storm. The Bible tell us the Lord sends rain both on the righteous and unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). Yet it seems almost paradoxical that a God who loves us would allow our house to be demolished in a hurricane or a child to die in a tornado. At least until we get a glimpse of the bigger plan.

Life has its seasons and times for every purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). The season for our youth yields to a time of old age. A night of sorrow gives way to the joy of a new morning (Psalm 30:5). The source of our hope determines whether we see good weather or bad weather for each tomorrow. A horse, despite its great strength, is a vain hope for deliverance; the only hope for our tomorrows is God’s unfailing love (Psalm 33:17-18).

The Lord’s unfailing love can be found in every storm if you seek it. This divine love does not mean you sit in a chair and wait for God to intervene. You are expected to do your part. Materially, if God provides you an umbrella, you need to open it when the rain falls. Zacchaeus had a good view of Jesus from atop a sycamore tree but had to climb down to get close to the Lord (Luke 19:1-6). Spiritually, the anchor for our soul in a storm is tied to faith in what we cannot see (Hebrews 6:19; 11:1). A woman with a bleeding disorder had faith Jesus could heal her before she ever touched His cloak (Mark 5:25-29).

Isaias passed without damage to our home. Not because we influenced God, but because He enabled us to find blessings in the storm. A view of lightning in the clouds. Holding hands and petting our dog. A cup of coffee as the morning sun broke through the clouds. Reminding others of their blessings.

No matter what storm you face, may you always find those blessings that help you see good weather.