By Waylon Bailey
As I write this, people along the Carolina coast are preparing for what has been called “A beast of a storm,” and “The storm of a lifetime” for this section of the country.
Hurricane Florence is a strong Category 2 storm, meaning that winds and storm surge will be high.
What should we do about all the misery and suffering in the world?
Our tendency is to wring our hands and wonder. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much suffering in the world? These are questions which should be studied, prayed over, and thought about, but not today.
Today should be a time of action. It’s not time to speculate; it’s time to serve, pray, and care. Compassion should be at its highest when suffering is at its worst.
Jim Denison recently wrote about this very thing. Today is the time to act.
What should we do?
We must prepare for life’s storms. Sitting and doing nothing is not the answer. Wise preparation based on experience and our own understanding will help carry us and others through tough times, whether storms or evil acts by humans.
We must respond with compassion, but it must be compassion that results in positive help for hurting people. At times, we talk (speculate) but we don’t help. Today is the day for compassion. Paul called on the church to be kind and tenderhearted (Ephesians 4:32).
We must be people of prayer who plead for the mercy of God in the midst of trouble. Let those of us not in the path of the storm pray for people who are in the path. Let us seek the God of compassion and pray God’s blessings on people in trouble. Prayer such as this will have a profound effect in our own lives. The closer we get to God, the closer we will get to people who are hurting.
We must encourage one another. When I think of encouragement, I think of children. When times are hard they need to know that (1) God is with them and (2) that you are with them. They need to hear, “I am here to take care of you. You can depend on me.” Usually, that’s all children really need. If you are “all right,” they usually are all right as well.
Life will be filled with storms of one kind or another. May we be people who depend on God and who take actions to care for others.
Waylon Bailey is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Covington. This editorial first appeared on his blog.