Monday 23 March
By Rev Victoria Linford
One evening the wind began to blow and raindrops hit our house like pebbles. We peered outside at the purple sky and watched as trees thrashed in the wind. Streaks of lightning lit up the sky accompanied by roaring thunder. We turned to the TV where the newsreader, rather unnecessarily, reported the storm and said that emergency services were poised to help. "Is this an emergency?" one of our children asked. "Yes, I suppose it is". He looked worried. "Will the storm knock our house down?" "That's very unlikely", I said, "our house is old and strong". "But if the storm does knock our house down, where would we live?" "Don't worry, we've got insurance and we would get another house". Our son said, "Oh, that's alright then, I hope the storm does knock our house down and we can get a brand new better house!"
For many people, storms and other emergencies do not bring any silver linings. Quite the opposite. The emergency is only the beginning of a series of troubles. Our local church is linked with a congregation in Malawi, where recent flooding has meant the loss of life and property, AND that crops can't be planted, food won't be harvested and people won't eat.
Yet the faith that shines through that congregation is remarkable, faith that God is in every emergency. The Bible compares the Lord's power to the strength of a storm - "God thunders marvellously with his voice" (Job 37:5). But the God of the storm cares about his people, especially in weakness; God "gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases strength" (Isaiah 40:29).
Emergencies often leave women alone and vulnerable, having lost men who were either at work or stayed behind to protect their property.
Pray for those trying to rebuild their lives.