If you would like to send your offering through the mail, our mailing address is:
CrossPointe Community Church
P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215
One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home. Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!”
In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.Job 1:13-22
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.Philippians 4:6-9
After the Hurricane
Ever experience a hurricane?
Did you know that the typical hurricane lifts 60 tons of water out of the ocean every second? 1 Or, would you believe that that the average hurricane releases more energy in 10 minutes than all of the word’s nuclear arsenal combined? 2
That equals, “200 times the worldwide electrical generating capacity!” 3 Although, ever since they began naming hurricanes after men as well as women meteorologists have noted with curious interest a slight drop-off in their fury.
Ever experience a hurricane? There are different kinds you know. There are the hurricanes that ravage Florida. Then there are the type of hurricanes that occur in our lives when the winds of adversity begin to blow; the person who receives the dreaded diagnosis, the struggling father of five who loses his job, the wife who is suddenly told of her husband’s tragic death.
Ever experience a hurricane? If you haven’t, I can almost guarantee you will. And when you do, my guess is the overused phrase “hang in there” will not be as helpful as people mean it to be. Because these kinds of hurricanes also have a way of churning calm waters and disturbing our peace.
So the question for us is, “What do we do after the hurricane moves on and the dust settles?’ How do we begin to crawl out from under the weight of adversity? Or what do we do when the hurricane stalls? What if the winds just keep right on blowing?
Let’s begin by recognizing a rather harsh reality: sometimes the hurricane that disturbs our peace is of our own making.
The Bible is chock full of examples of people who rather than obeying the clear word of God insist on doing their own thing; and every time, the winds of adversity begin to howl.
Adam and Eve; God said, “Don’t,” but they did anyway. Result: Adam and Eve are booted out of paradise… hurricane.
David: God said, “Don’t,” David did anyway. Result: David’s family life becomes the worst of soap operas… hurricane.
To all the Israelites, God said, “Don’t,” but they did anyway. Result: death, destruction, captivity, exile… hurricane. Psalm 137:1 “Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem.”
Need I give more examples?
The truth is, sometimes hurricanes are of our own making. I know we don’t like to hear that. But sometimes we invite the winds of adversity to blow in our lives when we disobey God. Disobedience often results in hurricanes. Unrighteousness always disturbs our peace.
Isaiah writes, “‘There is no peace for the wicked,’ says the Lord” (48:22).
On the other hand, the Psalmist writes, “I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for He speaks peace to his faithful people.” (Psalm 85:8).
That’s why Paul follows his prescription for peace with vs. 9, “Keep putting into practice all you learned from me everything you heard from me and saw me doing. THEN… the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).
And yet, it is possible to be following Christ closely, putting into practice everything Paul prescribes, and still experience a hurricane.
Prime example: Job. The Bible says he was “blameless, upright, God-fearing.” And yet without a moment’s notice, a hurricane thundered down upon him. He lost all his livestock, all his crops, all of his servants, and if you can believe it, all ten of his children.
And yet the book that bears his name records an entry he made into his journal soon after the wind stopped blowing and the dust began to settle. With a quivering hand, I’m sure Job wrote: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Following this statement, the text says, “Through all this, Job did not sin nor did he blame God” (1:22).
Job must have been some kind of guy. How could Job endure a storm of that making and still be able to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord?” anyone handle a storm like that so calmly? How did he maintain his faithfulness? I know many who have given up on God after experiencing much less. Yet we read that Job didn’t blame God; he actually worshipped Him. Is it really possible to maintain a peace like that in the midst of or in the aftermath of a hurricane like that?
If we follow Job’s example, it is.
The first thing he did was maintain faith and trust in God while at the same time confessing his own lack of understanding.
Near the end of the book, Job says, “I declare that which I do not understand things too deep for me, which I do not understand” (Job 42:4). In other words, he didn’t feel the need to explain the ‘why’s’ of his situation. “Why this, why now, why me?”
Earl and Edna LaRonde were friends of mine. Earl grew up in Canada, and moved to Cleveland looking for a job as a teenager. He met and married Edna about the time WWII broke out. Earl joined the army and fought in Europe until the war ended. When he got back to the States, Earl and Edna moved to a little town
in central Ohio called North Fairfield to raise a family. They had their first child, David, in 1948. In the years that followed two girls came along.
In 1957, Earl and Edna and their three children began to attend the North Fairfield UMC, and soon thereafter, they gave their hearts to Christ. A year later the hurricane struck. It happened on David’s tenth birthday. He was riding around town on his new bicycle. He happened to be sitting on his bike in the front yard of a friend’s house when he spotted his dad driving home from work.
He was so excited to see his dad and show off his bike that he began riding down a slight hill from the house to the road. However; he got going faster than he realized and before he or his father could stop, David steered directly into the path of his dad’s car and David breathed his last while his father cradled him in his arms.
Rather than ask, “why” Job grabbed hold of one great principle and held on to it. It formed the knot at the end of his rope. It kept him from cursing God. It was the same knot that two heartbroken parents in North Fairfield learned to tie in the summer of 1958. No single truth removes the need to ask “why” like this one. Here it is: God is too wise to make a mistake, too deep to explain Himself.
It’s remarkable how trusting that statement erases the need to ask why after the hurricane moves on. Job rested his case right there. Earl and Edna were enabled to stop asking ‘why’ when they acknowledged the faithfulness of the ‘who’ behind the scenes.
Next, Job claimed God’s loving sovereignty.
His wife responds a little differently. “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity?” she asks, “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9).
And Job responds, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not adversity?” (Job 2:10).
Wait a minute? Is Job saying that God causes the hurricanes? No. In fact, if you read the entire story carefully, you’ll discover that satan asks and receives God’s permission to cause the trouble.
If God is all-powerful and can prevent hurricanes from occurring but does not
then we can deduce, as did Job, that God allows the wind to blow.
The winds of adversity will blow without warning, when we least expect it. Moms, dads, there will be some children who will not always be with us here on this planet. Husbands, wives, it is possible that you won’t grow old with your spouse; could walk away or die sooner than you expect. We could lose a job, or get sick at any time.
There are no guarantees, except Romans 8:28: “God causes all things to work out for the good of those who love God.” Notice Paul doesn’t say “it will all work for my good” but it will work out. Everything, even my loss? That’s what it says. How? I don’t know.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.Isaiah 55:8-9
“And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways
and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Remember God is weaving a great tapestry. We are the threads in his heavenly pattern. We experience a hurricane and from our perspective the whole design is spoiled. Our problem is we see the tapestry from underneath with all the knots and hanging threads. God weaves from above with the true pattern before Him. In His loving sovereignty and wisdom, He weaves the threads together to make a beautiful design called the Kingdom of God, a major part of which concerns Job’s last piece of advice.
Job counted on the promise of the resurrection.
“I know that my redeemer lives and that at last I shall see God” (25).
He had a heavenly perspective; looking ahead to the Lord’s promise to make all things new in the life beyond. Knowing that hope does not disappoint, Job endured today by looking to tomorrow.
When the hurricane comes, we can too.
“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me shall live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never really die at all” (John 11:25). Then the question of the ages, addressed to Martha, and us, “Do you believe this?” (John 11:26).
I know the stories about Earl and Edna because in 1990 I became their pastor. I got to know Earl very well because he was the custodian of the church. I still remember when Earl told me his story. How the hardest thing he ever had to do in life had nothing to do with fighting Germans during WWII but rather to drive on home and tell his Edna what had just happened a half mile down the road.
I asked him, How did you deal with that, how do you deal with that? How were you able to maintain your faithfulness in a God of love?” And Earl said to me, “How could I ever give up on the only One who has made it possible for me to see my son again?”
“I know that my redeemer lives and that at last I shall see God” (25).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loves us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8 selected).
1 Can a Hurricane Pick You Up? by Hurricane School
2 https://rateitall.com/i-901900-in-10-minutes-a-hurricane-releases-more-energy-than- all-the-worlds-nuclear-weapons-combined.aspx