When disaster strikes, where can we go?
Only to “Our God.”
He will either stop the storm,
or be with us in the storm.
You will hear stories from two of our bloggers
who experienced Hurricane Florence last week.
What so often happens in a natural disaster, is that even those who may not have a vital faith, are brought to their knees to cry out to God for His help, comfort, and peace.
Here are firefighters praying outside a home where a mother and infant were killed in Willmington, North Carolina last week.
God’s ways our not our ways, but one day, we will understand.
Meanwhile, we who are His children can be so thankful he is
I sense He is leading us now on an incredible journey and I want to follow Him step by step.
Let me explain.
When I got my Subaru, I began to see Subarus everywhere.
(Possibly living in snowy Wisconsin is part of it — but honestly,
I didn’t see them at all before!)
That’s what happens when something becomes personal.
When I meditated this month on the repeated phrase
“You are my God”
I started seeing it everywhere in Scripture.
I realized how unique this is to Christianity.
People don’t say “My Allah,” or “My Baal” because only the Trinitarian
God of Christianity is relational. As Mike Reeves says, “The gods of
other religions cannot be love because they are either warring gods
(like Baal) or monolithic gods (like Allah) so they had no one to love.
We have been invited into a dance of love with the Triune God,
who has been love from the beginning.
And in the same way that I say, “My Steve” or “My Sally,” because my
relationship with them is so personal, God has allowed me to say,
“You are my God.”
And even more amazing, is that He looks at His children and says
“You are my people.”
It began with Abraham, when God began to call a people to Himself.
He told Abraham to look to the stars, for so would his descendants be.
Both “our Lizzy” and “our Sharon”
have stories to tell about “our God” during Hurricane Florence,
and we will hear from them this week.
To prepare your heart for this week, contemplate this song, here sung by Rich Mullins, and then be ready to share your thoughts on what it means to say,
“Oh God, You are my God.”
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
Monday-Tuesday: Introducing Psalm 3 and Sharon’s Story
The first time in the psalms that we see the phrase “my God” is in Psalm 3. (Psalm 3:7) In Psalm 3, the psalmist cries out to God for deliverance in the night, and God hears and sustains him.
This is what happened to “our Sharon” last week in the midst of Hurricane Florence. This is Sharon (bottom right), her mother-in-law in the middle, her husband in the back holding a grandson, and, I think, her children and their spouses!
Here is Sharon’s description of what happened:
It was 2 A. M. [Friday, Sept 14, 2018] and I needed sleep, but after hearing two trees already fall on the house and the wind, still so very strong, it was eluding me…I was scared. It was then that God gave me the verse from 1 Peter 5:7 and a chorus we used to sing from the 80’s came to my mind so I started singing it…
”I cast all my cares upon You. I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet.
And anytime that I don’t know what to do. I will cast all my cares upon You.”
The next thing I knew it was 8 in the morning…God was faithful…He gave me rest!
Meanwhile, back in Wisconsin, I was writing the blog for Sunday, Sept 16th. I’d been meditating on the importance of this repeated refrain in Scripture of “You are my people,” and “You are my God.”
I also felt led to post this video of William Cowper’s song “Sometimes a Light Surprises.”
When power was restored and Sharon returned to the blog, she watched the above video, and saw the truth from the song she sang during that terrible night posted in the middle of this: “He cares for you…” Sharon wrote:
It was humbling to think of God then saying, “You are my people” (I know all that is going on down there Sharon…I’ve got your back) and I would respond by looking up and saying, “You are my God!! I can’t even begin to express how comforting that was and still is!
2. What stands out to you from Sharon’s story and why?
To prepare your heart for Psalm 3, here are the first 5 verses set to music:
3. Read through Psalm 3 and share your comments and observations. Does any verse become radioactive? If so, share.
Wednesday-Thursday: Lizzy’s Story and Keller on Psalm 3
Meanwhile, our own Lizzy, who also lives in the area Hurricane Florence came, wrote to us last Sunday:
My church was cancelled today due to the storm and then the church we’d planned to go to (where I work) also cancelled. But with school canceled Friday and a long weekend at home, I’ve spent many moments on my screened porch, watching the trees sway and listening to that beautiful sound of rustling leaves, and cannot help but think of the refrain “You are my God.” And when I see how protected we have been, and even if we had not been, I hear Him say, “You are my people”. It’s been a great time to exercise our faith before our children, admitting our own tendency to fear, but the choosing to hold onto what no hurricane can ever take away.
4. What thoughts do you have on Lizzy’s comments?
We are going to dig deeper into Psalm 3 next week, but, jumping off Lizzy and Sharon’s story, I want you to listen to this sermon on Psalm 3 from Tim Keller and share your notes and thoughts.
5. What notes and comments do you have?
As we begin, together, to practice saying, “You are my God,” throughout the day, I’m hoping to hear some stories from you on the impact. Here’s one from me from last week.
Summer is always a time of great temptation to over-eat for me, for I have guests practically from Memorial Day through Labor Day and they bring goodies, take me out to eat, and want to experience the treasures of Wisconsin: custard, bratwurst, cheese…
And every fall I struggle to get back on track, usually five pounds heavier. And for the last couple weeks I have not gotten back on track, though I signed up for the Weight Watchers app when they had a 3 month special for 30 dollars.
But last week, every time I was tempted to eat something not on my plan, I said, “You are my God.” For in truth, I don’t want to be my own god, it only leads to pain. And last week, I stayed on track all week. And I’m 2 pounds lighter. Little – but big, to me.
6. Do you have a story?
7. What’s your take-a-way and why?