Years ago, a friend made a plaque for me that I have found to be pure wisdom. It reads: “Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child.” That plaque has come to mind often as I’ve watched the news coverage of the Houston floods. I know God is not overwhelmed, but the circumstances in the Houston area seem overwhelming.

During the trials of life, it’s normal to pray for the ability to understand. Why does a loving God, who created the storm, allow it to rage and bring widespread devastation? How do we convince people who have lost so much that there is a God who loves them? We will never understand the God of the universe and his sovereign plan. Romans 11:34 says, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” Instead, God’s children learn to pray for the strength to accept what God has allowed and ask how he is calling us to adjust our lives to join his plan to redeem.

Some of the most powerful news clips from Hurricane Harvey are not the flood waters, as devastating as they have been. The news clips that show the hundreds of private bass boats, guided by ordinary citizens who quickly volunteered to help, are sending a profound message. Many are referring to it as “the Texas Spirit,” but I wonder how often we are witnessing God’s Holy Spirit at work. God calls people to help, and many have been quick to respond to his leading.

Everyone can help in a time of crisis. We don’t have to understand how God plans to redeem this storm to trust that he is already working toward that end. Romans 8:28 is a promise. God can work each of these difficult circumstances for the good. Our part: be called to his purpose.

We all need to pray for God to use his mighty power to calm the storm and heal the land. We also need to pray for the wisdom to know how to help with all that has happened. There will be multiple opportunities in the coming days to assist with the immediate concerns. There will also be opportunities in the years ahead to continue to care, not growing weary in “well-doing” (Galatians 6:9 KJV). God will call you to help. The only question to pray about is the “how.”

Everyone can give something. Jim and I like to support the Texas Baptist Men. They bring fresh water, hot meals, showers, and clean clothes to people in need. But they also bring people Jesus. We like to give money to those who will help meet both physical and spiritual needs. You can donate on their website at http://texasbaptistmen.org/Give-Now.

But I think God will call most of us to give something beyond our money. We will need to give hope. We will need to give help. We will need to give assurance that the God of the universe is busy redeeming this storm for his good plan. Pray now for the wisdom to be called to his good purpose. Everyone can help and everyone should.

Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Jesus was teaching the people to make eternal investments with our temporary lives. Whatever treasure you store for yourself in heaven is protected forever. Pray and give whatever God asks of you. He is already redeeming the flood for his great good—and most certainly for ours.


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