Lessons from the Rain

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To hear the rumble of thunder in the sky above and the drumming of rain against the windows was so refreshing! I looked through windows around me and the skies were dreary this morning. As I chilled on the couch, I felt a calming coolness in the air. It was definitely an overcast morning, but even in that moment when it was wet and dark, I found beauty.

It’s really been hot lately. The humidity drenching this island nation has been stifling! I remember about a year ago, my one goddaughter said, “This heat is disrespectful!” In fact, for a few years, I’ve noticed it has been feeling like summer from about April.

But despite the darkness which enveloped what may otherwise have been a bright morning, I took it all in with pleasure. The rain drops falling from the roof and splashing onto the grass and porch were music to my ears. Once the downpour had come to a crawl, I heard the beautiful singing of birds. Meantime overhead, a softer rumble of thunder, as a cool whiff of breeze flowed through the window, fanning my skin.

Then it happened. Suddenly. Just as I thought it was coming to an end, there was another steady downpour. I honestly welcomed it for the sake of the brittle, brown grass which seemingly has no life, but also because I needed this natural air conditioning system.

I was certain that at some point in the day, the sun would raise its head and its rays would return to scorching this part of the earth and its inhabitants. There is always sun after the rain.

I began to think of the people of Grand Bahama and Abaco who have literally just weathered the storm. Hurricane Dorian was torrential in every sense of the word. It was a downpour like none other. It rummaged through the islands like a drunken sailor.

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Photo:Reuters

 

Now here comes COVID-19 with its slippery, slick self – spreading its infected wings among our people, resulting in sickness, death, joblessness and throwing us into the economic doldrums.

It’s raining my people. For some, the rain is heavier than for others. So many people are struggling, hurting…wondering how bills will be paid and how food will get on the table. You see how easy it is to have a job today and lose that job today? You see how bills can be paid in full month after month and now there be a struggle to even give a down payment?

This is the time to trust God to provide ALL of your needs (Philippians 4:19). This is the same God who provided manna from heaven in the desert (Exodus 16:12-15). This is the same God who instructed the birds to feed Elijah during a famine (1 Kings 17:1-6). During this rain, let us draw closer to God, recognizing our dependence upon Him. He is the same God yesterday, today and forever. He is not like man. He cannot lie.

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Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

 

COVID-19: God is STILL in Control!

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In my lifetime, I cannot think of any other thing which has caught the world’s attention like COVID-19 (coronavirus). This virus almost has a personality of its own. It slithers its way into airports and palaces, hopping onto buses and trains, waits in line at the mom and pop store on the corner, flys to every continent – except Antarctica – and makes its way into homes, from celebrities to the common man.

It seems to have one mission: Steal. Kill. Destroy.

In fact, today, I visited the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website and saw the figure. An astonishing 23,495. That’s how many confirmed deaths from the coronavirus were recorded after 5 pm. At that hour, there was an overall 512,701 confirmed cases. From actor Tom Hanks and athletes to the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Britain’s Prince Charles, this virus does not discriminate. Nationality, gender, colour, social standing, education…none of this matters to the coronavirus.

More than ever before, people are exercising cleanliness. And I believe using hand sanitizer, washing our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and infusing the atmosphere with Lysol are so embedded in our psyches that long after we have seen the coniving back of the coronavirus, many will still be exercising caution.

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I can’t help but think though that the God whom we serve is BIGGER than COVID-19. We are reminded in Psalm 46:1 that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

And certainly these are times of concern. I won’t attempt to downplay that fact, as so many people are affected in many ways. In fact, someone recently said on social media, “Can we start 2020 over?”

This pandemic though is cause for us to pause and think of how unpredictable life is. When the ball dropped in Times Square on January 1st and fireworks lit up the skyline over a river in Frankfurt, Germany…when we were sending “Happy New Year” greetings via WhatsApp, who really was thinking about COVID-19? Who thought nations’ health care personnel and resources would be so stretched? Who dreamed we would be standing six feet apart in line at the grocery store and not be able to hug a friend or relative? It is proof that in one year, one month, one week, one day, one hour…within one minute or even the next second, life could take an unexpected, unpredictable, unprecedented turn that’s unpleasant.

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But through it all, God is still in control. Psalm 107:29 says, “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” He is the SAME God and through all of the panic, uncertainty and mounting deaths, he is saying to you…to me, the same three words recorded in Mark 9:39 – “Peace be still.”

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

 

The Exceeding Abundantly God

I am a firm believer that God puts people along our journey to help manifest his plan for us.

One example is found in 2 Kings 4 v 1 – 7 with the widow and her oil. Here was a woman who found herself in a precarious situation. She was not only a widow, but a widow in debt, having incurred her husband’s bills. To exacerbate this challenging situation was the fact that as payback, the creditor was threatening to make her two sons slaves! No doubt, she was at her wit’s end. A woman in mourning, having to worry about the bills and simultaneously trying to save her sons. Mounting problems!

Clearly, this widow believed in the prophets and their connection to the Almighty God; therefore she approached Elisha for help. Elisha asked her what she had in her house. She revealed that all she possessed was a pot of oil. The cupboards were bare. Can you imagine bare cupboards? Not because you are just moving in or out, but bare cupboards because you have nothing to put in them.

Elisha instructed the widow to borrow vessels from all her neighbours – plenty vessels. I believe not a neighbour refused het request. The reality is God would position that harsh boss, that selfish neighbour, that scrooge-of-a-relative or even your most agressive enemy to fall in line to bless you at the right time!

Further, what I love is she was obedient. Trust and obey! She did as told by putting any pride aside, going door to door, asking for what she needed, then shutting her own door behind her and her sons, before pouring oil into all the vessels…until the last was filled. There goes my exceeding, abundantly God! It was nothing short of a miracle! Don’t underestimate God.

This woman was able to pay off her husband’s debt and use the remaining proceeds to live comfortably. From what I believe was a small pot of oil to numerous barrels of oil, God gave her MORE THAN ENOUGH!

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah