In 1962 my parents were serving as missionaries on Guam. On November 11, 1962 we endured one of the deadliest typhoons ever to hit Guam. I wrote about it a little while back.
Tonight I was looking through some of Dad's sermon notes and found something he had written about experiencing the typhoon. I'm not sure when he wrote this but from some of the other notes in this notebook I believe it was the fall of 1968. The title of the sermon was "The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing". Here is what he wrote:
"During Typhoon Karen, this lesson of the 'Blessedness of Possessing Nothing' was made very vivid to me. When for 8 grueling hours winds of 150 to 200 mph are driving rain and debris through your house, you have time to get over some of your 'scared-ness' and think. God's power is certainly not doubted in such an hour, as you see your furniture smashed, even the big upright piano being blown around like a matchbox, you sure feel your helplessness! Somehow, at a time like that, when you see your prized possessions being blown around and broken, the books that you so dearly loved dripping with water, it doesn't seem to matter too much. But when you see your children huddled, sopping wet under water-soaked mattresses to protect them from the wind and flying debris, it makes you feel your nothingness. You search for a dry corner and their is none. you search for dry clothing but the clothes in the closet are dripping and the chest of drawers is filling with water. All is black. The wind is howling. The rain soaked clothing chills the body. Yet there was a light and peace and warmth that came to my soul and an assurance that all would be well. Believe me, it was a night spent in prayer, and it was a night of real spiritual victory. Striped to nothing, yet richest of all, we simply had God."
I went to the jail tonight for Bible study with the ladies of cell block C. When I got home I was reading through the prayer requests I had collected. Most of the requests centered around prayers for children and families of the women (my heart really goes out to them as they face the holidays apart) or for upcoming court dates. But one of the prayer requests really struck me. This young lady simply wrote "Pray for the families of the people and children involved in the school shootings".
Wow! This young woman certainly knows what it feels like to be striped to nothing yet her prayer request is for those involved in this horrific tragedy. God, may I never forget what is most important! May I never get so wrapped up in things, busy-ness, and just plain ME that I lose sight of others. Please join with me in honoring this prayer request throughout the upcoming days, weeks, and months. I feel certain that if we spend nights in prayer for these families, God will have the victory in this senseless act of evil.
Proverbs 15:3 (The Message)
God doesn’t miss a thing—
he’s alert to good and evil alike.