I'm sure that you, like me, have been and continue to be saddened by the horrific and disastrous flooding out in Texas as a result of Hurricane Harvey. It's simply staggering how much rain has fallen in the coastal areas and even inland up into Houston. Obviously those who endured Katrina in New Orleans can relate to this tragedy but few are able to say they've experienced anything the magnitude of what's happening right now in Texas. We've all seen varying degrees of flooding but this is almost beyond comprehension. The pictures we see on the news and social media help us gain a bit of perspective but still, it's hard to wrap your mind around the extent of the devastation. At least 30 people have already lost their lives from this storm. Homes, farms, businesses, and possessions are literally being washed away. Consider some other numbers provided by CNN regarding the impact of this storm:
- it's expected that Harvey will dump 25 trillion gallons of water over the state
- 13 million people are under flood watch or warnings
- 3400 people rescued just in Houston alone
- 450,000 are expected to ask FEMA for assistance
Most of us have probably felt moved in some way to extend help to those in need. You can visit the PCA's MNA websitehttps://pcamna.org/disaster-response/storms/ and find good ways to either contribute, provide supplies and equipment, or even go and physically help. On September 9 we have the opportunity to go into B'ham and help Red Mountain PCA assemble flood buckets to be delivered to the Texas area (for more info on this contact the church office). Hopefully many of us will participate in one or more of these ways as well as continuing to pray for the multitudes who are suffering.
Not in any way to downplay the disaster in Texas, but the devastating fate of those who don't know Christ should also move us to action. When Jesus saw the crowds in Matthew 9 "he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'"
Consider the staggering numbers of those who don't know Jesus Christ and are condemned to eternal destruction apart from saving knowledge of Him. The estimated population of earth is around 7-8 billion people and only about 30% profess to be Christian (keep in mind this includes many groups other than evangelicals so the true number of Christians is much, much less). Even in our own cities, communities, and neighborhoods we are seeing increasing numbers of those who don't profess Jesus Christ as Savior.
Might God be calling you to have compassion on the lost? (easy answer - yes) Might He be calling you to pray for more laborers in the harvest field? (again, easy answer - yes) Might He be calling you to go into some sort of mission work, perhaps even cross-cultural or in a foreign land? (can't answer that one for you, but I'd encourage you to pray about it) Might He be calling you to engage with a neighbor, friend, family member, co-worker, classmate, etc. for the sake of proclaiming Christ in both word and deed? (back to the easy answer - YES)
Let's be a church family, committed to God's glory, that responds to the needs of people - whether it be relief from flooding or salvation from eternal damnation. Let the Holy Spirit move us to action in both of these ways today.