"On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm." Mark 4:35-39
Today is one of those posts where I simply share some thoughts that are rolling around in my mind. They've been in there for a few days now, placed in there by the events of the past week in the south. There's been such a crazy tornado outbreak in the US this year, that it just has me thinking if the church is really missing an opportunity to do something about it. And I'm not exactly talking about disaster response, but about the response before the disaster. When those storm forecasts start rolling in, do we, as a church have a greater responsibility to try and control the storms that are on their way?
There is a melding of thoughts here today, because as I've been thinking about this, I've also been thinking about the Native American people. Last year, when we studied the individual people groups for school, my eyes were opened to a lot of truths about many Native Americans- mainly that many of them really believed in God, they just didn't know what to call Him. Native American tribes would spend entire days dancing and singing to "The Creator" and asking for provision and protection. Those rain dances we hear about? Many were done to ask for rain- they would dance for days on end, with a desire for rain on their hearts. Sometimes it was the opposite- it was a dance to ask for the rains to stop. But then our European settlers started moving in, and saw these rituals and simply assumed they were evil. We told Native Americans that their ways were wrong, and they needed to start going to our organized churches and stop their evil ways.
Were those ways so evil? I think the Native Americans were behaving like Jesus without even realizing it.
Jesus himself calmed the storm. The disciples were fearing for their lives, and Jesus stepped in and calmed the storm in an instant. I can't help but think that if we, the church, took what we see in our very Bibles and applied it to the circumstances today, that we could make a huge difference. I've been watching the footage of the dozens of tornadoes and all the damage. So many people have lost everything- including loved ones, and my heart is so full of sorrow for those people. Something seems to have shifted in the atmosphere, making tornadoes so much more likely these days- what if we are missing a huge opportunity to be a blessing to our very country? What if we took the lesson that we see from Jesus and applied it to today?
Even better, what if we combined it with the spirituality of the Native Americans? Think about this. We have amazing technology with weather forecasting today. We can know a day in advance that severe storms are rolling into an area. Think about teams of people gathering together in advance of the storm. They get together and start worshiping the Lord, praising Him and dancing to him for hours on end- preparing the atmosphere around them to do the will of God. And then as the storms start to roll in, their hearts are prepared with love for the Father and for the people around them, and as the tornado warnings start going off, these teams of people speak to the storm and calm it- Just As Jesus Did.
It's not impossible. Jesus did it, and not only did Jesus tell us that we can do what he did, but that we will do greater.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." John 14:12
I think about the flooding of the Mississippi river and all those people displaced who have lost everything under water. The flooding isn't that much different than a series of tornado-producing storms. We know about it in advance- or at least somewhat in advance. Jesus gave us the very tools we need to do something about all these disasters going on around us- we just need to learn how to use those tools. The church is so good about coming together to aid those in need after a disaster- I just think it's time for the church to wake up and see if they can do something to prevent a disaster. Think about the possibilities there. As the tornado sirens go off, instead of hiding away in fear and terror- we come together in love and worship and prevent destruction from touching those around us.
Things to think on today.