Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

How Big Is Our God?

Psalm 46:1-3

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

112015 Ray McDonaldCan you remember the earthquake of 2011?  Where were you when it hit?  Depending on the various reports we heard on the news – it was measured somewhere between a 5.8 and 6.0 on the earthquake scale.  So where were we – what were we doing – and more important – how did it impact us?  What were our thoughts during and after the quake?

I was in my church office at the time – working on a sermon when the building started to shake.  Nothing fell – and I have lots of knick-knacks on my shelves – but the old home our offices were in shook and rumbled for sure.

Immediately the staff was outside – looking first for what had caused the building to shake.  We had road construction going on and our first thought was that one of the large trucks working near the building shook the place.  I ran back into the office and checked my computer and people were tweeting and posting on Facebook that we had just had an earthquake.  I shared the information and we stayed outside a little longer.

The staff was standing outside the building – talking and amazed that we had just experienced an earthquake – when our youth pastor drove up.  Most people who were driving while the quake happened didn’t experience it the same way as those who were stationary.  Our youth pastor was upset that he missed the experience – we tried to not tease him about it – lol.

I tried to call my family to make sure they were OK – but the lines were full and calls weren’t getting through (although text messages did).  I tweeted the above passage soon after the quake – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  Slowly we were able to communicate again with others.  That period of not knowing was rough.

Chennai IndiaRemembering that experience began to put into focus what folks from Chennai – India – experienced and more.  The devastating rains that fell were records for sure.  It was reported that for November – Chennai received 40.31 inches of rain (a 300% increase over normal rain fall).  The first day of December was even worse as they received a reported 12 additional inches of rain – the wettest December day on record over the last 100 years in Chennai.

The devastation is tremendous and at FUMC we are planning to collect funds to support a SHELTER Home for AIDS Infected children.  This SHELTER is a home for HIV-infected kids that have been abandoned by their parents.  Checks may be written to FUMC with Chennai in the memo and brought or sent to the church (424 Main Street – Laurel – MD 20707).

Is our God able to carry us through the roughest times of life?  I’m not saying the earthquake of 2011 was a rough time – it was minor on the scale of things.  Those in California were probably making fun of all the excitement this quake caused in the East (but give them some of our snow storms and watch them come to a stop as well – like in Florida).  But – it did cause some to stop and think – what if it was the end?

We had a woman from the church call the office that day to make sure we were still here – I mean – she thought maybe the Rapture had happened and she wanted to know if she was left behind!  She said – if my pastors and staff are still here – I guess the rapture didn’t happen.

Is our God big enough to carry us through the roughest patches in our lives?  Was God with us during our divorce?  During the death of our child?  During the rough time of dealing with a dying or sick parent?  When we found out our child had an illness?  When we lost our job or our home?  Is our God big enough?  I pray the answer is yes for each of us – because THE God of the universe is big enough – if we have placed our trust in Him and walk with Him daily.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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December 17, 2015 - Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , ,

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