... so the potter started on another (piece) as seemed best to him. -Jeremiah 18:4
It has been tragic and fascinating to watch the development and devastation of Hurricane Dorian as it plowed across the Bahamas and is now bending up along the Atlantic seaboard. At one point packing 185 mph winds with 200 mph gusts, it has been among the strongest of hurricanes on record. We have experienced more record-breaking storms globally in more recent years as global temperature and ocean levels rise. This creation drama, alongside the more clearly man-made drama of mass shootings, leaves us wringing our hands, lighting candles and crying out, "What can be done in the face of such onslaught?"
The Bible suggests a first step: work with God.
Over and against our feelings of helplessness in the face of these disasters, we are only truly helpless when we forget that, "the Lord is my shepherd," that "the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever," and that the Lord is the potter; we are the clay. Once we remember that relationship, that partnership, that power and possibility, then suddenly we do not feel so overwhelmed and helpless in the face of onslaught.
A long-time friend and counselor reminds me that in counseling the "Why" questions are draining because too often there are no clear answers that satisfy. Instead, he advises, we should work with "What" questions. What happened? What did I learn? What might I do differently going forward? "What" questions empower us for positive steps forward.
Dorian and Jeremiah give us opportunity to pause, reflect and ask, "What might we learn, not only about these disasters, but more importantly what God might do with us in the face of these disasters?" I will be working with Jeremiah 18:1-11 this Sunday with some help from our third graders and their new Bibles given by the church. Let's worship, listen, pray, discern and act together with God, our Creator and Re-Creator.
See you in God's house,