by Steve Dunn
A storm like nothing ever experienced by people living today slammed into the East Coast of the United States yesterday along the New Jersey coast. It’s name is Sandy. 60 million people were in its immediate path. Less than six hours later more than four million households in the Middle Atlantic States were without electricity. Global commerce took a hit as the New York Stock Exchange had to literally close its doors to ride out the storm. Even the Presidential election campaign had to go on hold as both candidates came off the campaign trail to attend to the matters of Sandy’s assault on our nation. People as far away as Chicago felt its effects as Sandy morphed into a cyclone whose weather pattern will dominate parts of the Midwest, Middle Atlantic states and the Northeast for days to come.
As I write this post, my wife and I are sitting in Bloomington IN, in the home of our son Chris and his wife Megan. We had been scheduled to arrive today in central Pennsylvania where we live following ten days on the road speaking for Bridgebuilders, a seminar I have designed to help traditional churches reach their unchurched neighbors. Given that our destination is already experiencing flooding and power outages and the road in between must past through an area of heavy snow and restricted driving conditions, a spontaneous visit seemed to best choice.
We live in a world where people believe that everything is tameable or obtainable. Find the right scientific solution and we can control nature, or so we believe–until we meet Sandy. Work hard enough and we can have our dreams become realities–until someone taxes those dreams into oblivion or creates a more elaborate product that we do not yet possess and we return to the rat race to earn enough credits to bring this new thing into our lives.
It is not my intention to be cynical or negative here. I am simply stating a fact. Our pride puts us in the crosshairs of things that will always be bigger than us and beyond our ability to control. Our pride keeps us rebuilding on ground that is going to be visited again by the Sandy’s of the planet. Our belief that we are ultimately in control of our personal destiny keeps us colliding with that same belief possessed by others and great becomes our fall.
Proverbs 3:5 tells us: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding.” Ultimately Frankenstorms push us back to this reality. We need more than ourselves to live with peace and strength in this world.
Psalm 46:1 points us to a wonderful promise: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” And that promise is rooted in something even more compelling. “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:29-31)
Frankenstorms remind me of how little I really control my life and destiny and drive me back to trusting the One Who does.
(C) 2012 by Stephen L Dunn