“God certainly can use natural disasters to speak to us—just as He can use other difficulties and tragedies to turn our hearts toward Him.” – Bill Graham.
Hurricane Michael, one of the most intense hurricanes to ever hit the United States, slammed the Florida Panhandle area with winds as high as 155 mph, leveling buildings and structures, flooding streets, and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Most people were in total shock as they looked at the vast badly damaged areas of Panama City. Northstar Church, like many churches, was not exempt. The Northstar Panama City campus was badly damaged. But it is just a building. We can rebuild a building.
As devastated as this area is, God can be found here, not in the destruction, but in the response. In the midst of all the devastation and despair, good things were happening. People banded together in droves to help those who were affected by the storm. The Body of Christ quickly mobilized to help people who were feeling both helpless and hopeless. There are so many uplifting stories, both inward and outward of people being the hands and feet of Jesus. What made it all worthwhile? It was seeing a smile on the face of people.
God was at work in the midst of this tragedy. God is the eye of our storm. With God there is hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) That has been our message since the hurricane; we cannot lose hope. As a Christian, we must believe that out of destruction, new life comes, that’s the Gospel. We believe as a church that we will come out of this stronger than ever.
God is with us and is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ever hope for, and with God’s help, we will not only survive but thrive. To move beyond shock into restoration. We are willing and ready to help the whole world find and follow Jesus. We are in this for the long haul.
It is our prayer that we never neglect or lose the close relationships built in crisis. Being the hands and feet of Jesus should not be temporary.
- What can we do as a church to grow stronger as the Body of Christ as a result of the hurricane?
- What can you do as an individual to grow stronger as a Christian as a result of the hurricane