“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
We can prepare for some things in life.
For example, Since Dan and I went through a severe ice storm in northern NY many years ago where we were without power for 6 days in the dead of winter, we take weather threats seriously.
We knew late last week that there was a chance for Hurricane Sandy to swirl over Central PA where we live. So we watched the weather for updates on her projected path. When we knew it would probably go right over top of us, we prepared by making sure we had batteries, propane gas for our camping stove and lamps, and essential food. I also drew several coolers of water for drinking and a tub full for other uses.
So far, our power has not gone out and we don't need the extra things we gathered up just in case the storm was bad. But we are among the fortunate since the news is filled with images of New York City and the Jersey coast where storm surges, wind and rain have paralyzed parts of the area and caused a lot of destruction. It could have been far worse here in our area.
Throughout our lives, we are buffeted by powerful life storms that leave us off balance or in the dark. Some of these storms come with warning signs while other storms come up unexpectedly, knocking us for a spiritual loop and threatening to undermine our faith
In all of life's storms, there are some constant truths -
1. We can't get through them by ourselves. We need the strength and support of the Lord and others to make it through. Whenever possible we should heed those storm warnings and do what we can to be ready by seeking advice or counsel and talking through our doubts and fears with those we trust. Asking for help and prayer support is essential too.
2. We need to strengthen our faith and our relationship with the Lord on a daily basis so we are prepared - at least minimally - for those unexpected difficulties.
Lord, this morning we pray for those who have been severely affected by Hurricane Sandy. May this storm help us to understand our need to prepare our hearts on a daily basis for the spiritual and emotional storms of life so we are able to stand strong through them. Amen.