June 12, 2013
The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; He gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure. Psalm 147:2-5
The second wave of tornados which ripped through the Midwest left us with a fresh batch of sadness, sorrow and loss.
With hundreds of millions of dollars of damage done to homes and businesses, with nine people dead and more than 70 injured, the losses are staggering. We mourn with those who are suffering through these tragedies and pray the Lord will use His mighty power to stay other such violent winds. By His grace may those who are trying to rebuild be given the power to do so.
The power to rebuild ... by making such a reference, I'm not necessarily talking about the power which comes from having internal grit and intestinal determination. Most certainly, reconstruction needs that kind of power. But what I'm referring to here is plain and simple electrical power.
Although the number has been sizably reduced, after the tornados wreaked their damage across the Midwest, it was estimated there were 212,000 customers in the Midwest who were without power.
That means no power to drive an automatic nail gun or saw. For many it means no power for cooking; no power for getting news reports; no power to keep frozen foods frozen; no power to open the garage door; no power to make a phone call; no power to see your way around in the dark.
Truly, it is only when we have no power that we begin to understand just how much we are dependent on electricity. That is especially true when a community or a family is trying to rebuild. They need power to get things going; they need power so things can begin to return to normal.
This really takes us to the point of this devotion. It is my contention that if we are dependent upon electricity, we are even more dependent upon God. That people don't realize or recognize this reliance is only because God is always there. No matter how humanity feels about Him, His blessings have been constant. No matter what people may think, the Lord continues to provide all they need. How did Luther say it? He gives all we "need to support this body and life."
Is your heart beating? That's the Lord powering that wondrous mechanism. Are your kidneys filtering? Is your stomach digesting? Is your brain thinking? Can your eyes read this page, your ears listen to the recording? All these are powered by the Lord.
I could go on for pages. That I am not doing so is only because this devotion has a time limit and because you begin to understand. For that reason I will confine my remarks to this: because of Jesus' sacrifice and His complete commitment to save us, we have been rescued from the forces of darkness. When it comes to our salvation, we have been -- and always will be -- completely dependent upon the power of God.
Thank God when it comes to His grace toward us there are no power outages.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You are always there, especially when times become difficult and the things in which I have trusted show their fragility. May I be reminded that You are stronger than any tornado, Your love more powerful than death itself. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries