"A Great Calm"
August 30, 2011
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live. Ecclesiastes 3:11-12
A few weeks ago I was in Sidney, Nebraska, to celebrate Trinity's 125th anniversary.
The people and pastor were fantastic, the food incredible, and the gemutlichkeit beyond compare. The only thing which wasn't wonderful was the weather. Just a few days before the celebration, a hail storm stripped the corn, destroyed gardens and generally made a mess of things.
They're not alone. As I've wandered the nation, I have seen one weather-related disaster after another.
One place has a drought, while another is cleaning up after a flood. One place is setting records for heat, and another needs some warm sun to bring in the crops. One town is decimated by a tornado, and another is threatened by wildfire. After a while a person starts to wonder is this always the way things have been or is this an unusual year?
Well, the answer is in: this is an unusual year. 2011 has now officially tied the record for billion-dollar weather disasters. In case you're wondering, the National Weather Service says that dubious number stands at nine. So far this year, weather has caused more than $35 billion in damages.
The experts say there is more to come.
Now I don't know whether the experts are right or wrong in their predictions. I do know the writer of Ecclesiastes was on the money when he said something like there is a time for everything, and in all those things God will remain in control. We can't understand God's ways, nor can we figure out all of His thinking. Even so, the Lord has made everything beautiful in its time, and there is nothing better for us to do than to appreciate it, be joyful and do good as long as we live.
This is why I bring up the folks at Trinity in Sidney.
During my short time with them I didn't hear anyone complain about the corn being ruined. The mess in the fields wasn't their focus. Now I can share that many of those folks commented how glad they were that the wheat crop had been harvested, and the rest talked about the blessings of their pastor and their church. All came together to visit with old friends and made new.
In short, the presence of the living Lord Jesus, the Savior who had been with them for 125 years was there on that day. The Christ who had blessed births and weddings, who had provided comfort in deaths and down times, was the unseen but very real Person of Honor at that festivity.
Now, I don't want you to think that the people of Trinity are perfect. They're not. But for one day -- one very special day of witnessing -- that little congregation showed that there's nothing better than to be joyful in Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, this sinful world is bound to produce disasters and disappointments. No matter what comes my way may I realize You are there, keeping watch over me. Because of Your presence may my heart be allowed to transcend the negative and rejoice. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries