The sign on our Montana highway warns,
“Road Closed: Flooding Ahead!”
The internet news reports,
“Tragic tornadoes rip through Missouri and Oklahoma.”
Our email camping network shares sad tidings,
“Wildfires sweep across Texas, claiming one Methodist camp.”
How much more disaster news will there be?
With flooding in Montana and the Midwest,
Tornadoes across the central states,
Wildfires in New Mexico and Texas,
Earthquakes on the West coast, and
Hurricanes on the East coast,
It’s like having stripes across our nation,
Not the red and white of our beloved flag,
But the painful stripes of punishment
Undeserved by slaves in times not long past.
Yet these stripes are…
Stripes for us,
Stripes for our nation,
Stripes for our sin.
Who can understand our suffering?
There is One,
The perfect One who bore the sins
Of all the world,
“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)
Jesus understands our suffering.
He endured stripes He did not deserve for us,
He died on a cross at Calvary for us,
He rose again to eternal life for us.
Jesus is here to comfort and help our nation.
Living in Montana, we have experienced multiple forest fires,
And now we have flooding.
My heart goes out to all who are currently suffering.
He brought us through fire and water,
He will bring you through these trials, too.
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3 (NKJV)
What is God calling us to do?
He wants us to…
*Turn to Him (Acts 3:19)
*Help and pray for our neighbors (Matthew 22:39)
*Be prepared for His return (Matthew 24)
And after the wind, water, and fire
We will hear His still small, yet mighty, voice. (1 Kings 19:12)
Jesus is coming.
Are you ready?
May these painful stripes
Be a wake-up call to our nation:
*Turn to Jesus,
*Help your neighbor,
*Prepare your heart for Jesus’ return.
Help our country,
Forgive our sins,
Help me do my part. Amen.