Pastor Sam Crosby
San Saba’s First Baptist Church
September 4, 2017
The curbs in the Houston area are filling up with debris from flooded homes. Experts suggest that up to 100,000 homes have been damaged, flooded or completely destroyed in Hurricane Harvey. Thousands of volunteers are working alongside homeowners to clean out flooded rooms, tear up carpets and flooring, and sift through personal items, hoping to salvage something. One of my daughters involved in the rescue effort quipped, “Some people have their whole life sitting on the curb.”
I really cannot imagine what that must feel like. Irreplaceable pictures, photo albums and family Bibles are being left on the curb, damaged beyond redemption. Memories and stories represented in toys, furniture and clothes are now laid in piles and ready for removal. Harvey didn’t just sweep through neighborhoods and houses; he swept through lives and souls. People are returning to once flooded homes to lay their lives on the curb.
Thankfully, there is redemption in the crisis. The sovereign God is able to take life’s worst circumstances and create something good. Such is the truth of Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV). He is doing this with Harvey.
First, God’s people are responding in the name of Jesus to touch hurts. People of faith from all denominations are reaching out to victims with love and compassion. Victims, both saved and unsaved, are seeing the love of God through His Church. Many will consider Christ because of this.
Second, tragedy often brings people together. While prosperity stirs envy, crisis prompts compassion. The walls that divide seem to dissolve when your neighbor’s pile of debris sits on the curb beside yours. Suffering together will strengthen a community both spiritually and socially. Shared memories of enduring trouble create lasting bonds.
Third, crisis reminds us of the frailty of this life. It is brief and often troubled. Paul was right when he said. “And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world” (I Corinthians 15:19, NLT). The hope of the Christian is not in this world, but the one to come. We must guard our hearts from loving this world and what it offers. Sometimes we need reminded that a man’s life does not consist in his possessions (Luke 12:15). Don’t let your possessions posses you.
Fourth, your life is not damaged beyond redemption. God loves you and purchased you with the blood of His Son. You are never so damaged that God will set you on the curb. Regardless of the storms you have endured, mistakes you have made, or paths you have walked, God would rather die than to live without you. The cross stands as a constant reminder of the great value of every life and the extent God would go to save you.