Thursday, October 3, 2013

Update, October 3, 2013

There is a certain amount of adrenalin that carries you through in times of evacuations in the middle of the night, even a certain amount of a spirit of adventure that, at first, allows us to be brave and optimistic.  But now people are returning to Lyons – not to live, not yet – but to shovel the muck, search for precious things, and to deal, face to face for the first time, with the enormity of what has just happened.  It is overwhelming.  The expressions you see around town look stricken, stunned and hopeless.  Some have simply moved away; it's just too much.

But God has chosen to put us, The River, right here in our little town.  By His sovereignty, He has allowed us to suffer the same kind of devastating set-backs as have our neighbors.  Now, as people are returning, we will be His hands and feet, His servants and witnesses.  But how?  How can a tiny congregation do much of anything in the midst of such confusion and loss? Nehemiah has some great insight on how to answer those questions.

They said to me, "Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire. When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven." Nehemiah 1:3-4 (NLT)

When Nehemiah was faced with overwhelming circumstances, the first thing he did was to avoid the great temptation to look away.  Instead he opened his eyes and his heart, indentifying with his neighbors in their time of loss.  And he wept for them – no, that's not right; he wept with them.  And then he called Somebody he knew.  He fasted and prayed.  How will a tiny congregation that God planted in Lyons respond to such destruction and despair?  Let's start with heartfelt compassion – sharing the grief of those who have lost so much.  And then let's pray – fast and pray as God leads you.  As God leads us. And then lets watch and listen as God leads us to be His hands and feet to our community.  The adrenalin, and adventure will fade, but God will never leave us or abandon us!

Serving Him with you,

Pastor Mickey

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