Psalm 40:1-4

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Happy are those who make the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods. Psalm 40:1-4

The other day it occurred to me that waiting for a hurricane is like waiting to be punched in the nose in ultra-slow motion. You know it is going to come. You know it is going to very likely be very bad. There is absolutely nothing that anyone can do to stop it. All you can do is prepare the best you can – stock up on food, water, and emergency basics. Then you wait to see how bad it will be. If it is bad, it will be bad for weeks or months. Hurricane Harvey is proving the worst ever.

On Friday, for the first time in my 30 years of ministry, we canceled Sunday worship and everything else we had planned for the weekend. We all went home and we waited for it to hit. Hit it did.

Hurricanes are heartless. The damage is indiscriminate. First the wind, then the rain, then the flooding. Hurricanes expose realities that we generally are oblivious to. We don’t notice the high places in neighborhoods until every house is flooded except for those two over there. We don’t notice the work of all the civil engineers who planned for future water retention until their systems work…or fail…or threaten to fail.

We don’t pay much attention to disaster relief agencies until we need them.

Now Houston needs it all. We can trust that anyone who has ever flooded before will definitely flood again. And many who have escaped previous flooding will now have their turn.

This morning we are still waiting to see how bad it is and how bad it will be. We still have a few more days to go. Some people are still waiting to be rescued. Some people who evacuated are waiting to see when they can go home. And some people are heeding the advice of the experts – stay in place, don’t go out on the roads, and wait until the roads clear before we go anywhere.

I have already heard from people asking how they can help. Right now, all people can do is pray or donate money to others who are already in position to help. We will know more by the end of the week but, for now, we just wait.

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, we pray this morning for the health and well-being of all of those who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. We especially pray for the first responders and those still waiting to be taken to safer places. Give us patience and assurance that the rains will stop and the recovery will begin. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


9 Responses to “Psalm 40:1-4”

  1. Marlys Says:

    Thank you for keeping us informed and comforted with your words of wisdom! May we all find a way to help! Prayers for all♥

  2. Joyce Says:

    Thank you for today’s devotion. I just went onto the ELCA Hurricane Harvey Relief website and made a donation. Prayers!!

  3. oma500 Says:

    Thank you. We didn’t have church yesterday either (St. James, New Wehdem, Brenham) but I used the devotional Bishop Mike put out. Wasn’t quite the same – maybe I should have played the piano and sung a few hymns 🙂
    Your devotional this morning was just what I needed.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    We are praying for you here in Pennsylvania. Thank-you for your devotions and faithfulness.

  5. Debbie George Says:

    Thank you for your Daily Devotion–every devotion touches my heart and my day. Faith Lutheran, MDA, and many friends in Houston have been foremost in my thoughts since Harvey threatened to knock on your doors. We are praying in Hot Springs, AR for Faith and all of Houston. Please keep us updated on your status…I see the photos and just can’t imagine what you’re enduring. Keep the Faith: “Faith does not get us around adversity…It gets us through it!”

  6. jon bright Says:

    may God watch over you and the people who are effected. just know that God does not give us more than we can handle. keep the faith

  7. Bernice Heck Says:

    Thank you for today’s devotional. I mailed my donation to Lutheran World Relief’s Disaster Relief Fund for Hurricane Harvey today, Have been praying for everyone there in Houston and anywhere reached by this disastrous storm and will continue to pray.

  8. Sharon Says:

    Thank you very much for giving us information. I have been concerned, of course. Thank you giving us tips on how to help now. I will send money to Lutheran Disaster Relief. The ELCA web site is certainly helpful. I am praying for mercy for all of you.

  9. Carolee Groux Says:

    I have a brother who lives in Houston, but was away in Minnesota when Hurricane Harvey hit. His neighbor informed him that they were high enough that their homes were fortunately spared, but they did have flooding in the streets. He must wait to return home. Sometimes all we can do is wait; “wait upon the Lord”.

    Psalm 27:14: “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage,
    And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

    While all in the Houston area are working hard to conquer the massive flooding and rescue people, the rest of us are praying.

    I am in Omaha, Ne. and we are donating truckloads of goods, a National Guard unit to do helicopter rescues, and monetary donations by way of many of our stores and of course The Salvation Army, Red Cross and Lutheran Disaster Relief.

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