Jeremiah 16:21 "Therefore I will teach them this time I will teach them my power and might. Then they will know that my name is the Lord."
To say it has been a long, challenging summer is truly an understatement! As I reflect on the events of the summer I can truly say that God is teaching, and reinforcing, some major life lessons. Watching pictures of the tsunami strike Japan, I said a quick prayer for the people of Japan. As I saw the rubble left behind by the tornadoes in the south, I was thankful that I didn't live in those areas. But, when I helped families move all their belongings out of their homes, I prayed that what was predicted wouldn't happen. God did not choose to stop the wall of water. However, having lived through the flood of 2011, I would not trade it away, for the lessons I am learning are far greater than I could have imagined.
I have learned the importance of a family like community. I have seen our church community come together and help each other out in ways I have never seen before. We have families living together, individuals storing other people's belongings in their garages and those who are cooking meals and allowing strangers from many different states to stay in their homes. I would have never believed I would have so many visitors through my own home this past summer. God's power and his love is evident in bringing people together to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Rev. Scott Mehlhoff
I have learned that there is a time for everything. A time to flood and a time to rebuild. I have seen God work some pretty neat miracles already in the way of timing. I have seen an order of windows arrive just in time. I have witnessed a team of individuals come just in time to start a project, and the second team, who were skilled in the next phase of the project, arrive just as the first team was leaving. I could not have orchestrated this if I would have tried. Our God is mighty.
I have watched God move mountains in, and through, the lives of people. I have witnessed a group of four elderly volunteers move a whole basement of cement blocks in less than seven hours. I thought that was impossible, but God provided strength for the task, and able and willing workers who surprised me. God has provided for people time and time again, whether it was a place to stay, or teams to work, or meals, or finances....the list goes on, and on.
I have witnessed the blessing in the lives of those who have given hours of work, even those whose own homes have been flooded, in order to help someone else. I have witnessed the blessing in the lives of those who are being helped by others who have traveled halfway across the country just to serve. I have seen those who have come to help be blessed by the love of those they are helping. This has helped me to learn the lesson not only of giving, but also of going. After all the work here in Minot is done, it is my goal to go to the site of another disaster just so that I can give to someone else who is in need. Let me encourage you too, to go whether it is across the street, or across town, and to give to others in need. God will bless you.
Reflections, a mini-sermon written by Minot and area clergy, will appear each Saturday in The Minot Daily News. Clergy interested in writing a mini-sermon should contact Religion Editor Loretta Johnson at 857-1952 or Debbie Sandvold at 857-1950. The toll-free number is 1-800-735-3229.
Through the flood, my faith and trust in God has been strengthened. I see God teaching me that through it all I can totally depend on him. God's power and might are evident. Truly, he is the Lord.
The Rev. Scott Mehlhoff is pastor of Southside Church of the Nazarene, Minot.