I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I feel God’s presence when I am in nature…,” and then they go on to relate some serene experience on a mountain or lake. But there’s another side of nature that is ferocious and unstoppable. Where is God in the tornado or the earthquake or the tsunami?
Growing up I was always scared of thunderstorms. But when I was in my late teens, I decided to confront this fear head on. “I understand something about God when the world is peaceful and beautiful,” I reasoned, “so what am I supposed to learn from the storm?” I was working at a camp in Southern Manitoba, so one evening as a storm rolled in, I stayed on the dock as long as I dared, and felt the wind and wildness of the storm. After around an hour, I crept off the dock thinking some different thoughts about God.
This week we are beginning a sermon series called “Our God in Troubled Times”. This Sunday we’ll be asking questions about God’s presence in the face of stormy weather and natural disasters. Have you experienced troubled times? Drought or hail or frost that resulted in a crop failure? Have you been scared by a blizzard or hurricane? Has your home been threatened by wind or fire? Our God is a God for troubled times.
This week’s prayer: Give strength and wisdom to all who are working to help those affected by earthquakes…whether in Haiti or Chile or other parts of the world.