Monday, April 26, 2010

The Children, a Hail Storm & the Power of God

Last Saturday morning I was asked to teach Sunday School which takes place on Saturday afternoon. As I prayed about what I should teach, I felt led to Luke 4:31-41 which tells the story of Jesus’ power over demons, sickness, and disease, and as always the display of his power is a display of his love. Once I formulated the idea that I would set before the children, I spent some time praying for them and as I did I got the sense that the Lord was going to manifest his power among us. I didn’t know if that meant he would heal or cast out a demon or what, but I couldn’t escape the sense that I had.

So, when the time came we all walked down to the fellowship hall, sang some songs, and when the time was right I began teaching. About two-thirds of the way into the lesson we heard the first crack of thunder. It was quite loud. Then it began to rain, mixed with small bits of hail. The roof on the fellowship hall is tin so it was quite loud and hard to teach. I actually wondered at one point if the Lord was silencing me because I was being quite bold with unbelievers in the room but then the hail subsided.

When I had finished my thoughts on the power of Jesus and how that’s manifested—sometimes in acts of power, sometimes in sustaining us in our weakness—the hail began to fall again, only this time it grew from pea-sized hail into larger than golf-ball-sized hail! In America, the children, and adults for that matter, would hide from the storm but to my surprise the children of India ran right out into it. They were picking up all the pieces of hail they could find, and the bigger the better. We adults of course were making sure no one was getting hurt but I must say that I had so much fun watching the children enjoy the hail as they did.

They were at times shouting in exaltation, “Ice, ice, God has given us ice!” Even some of the adults joined in the fun and were running around gathering up as many pieces as possible.

As I stood under the porch of the fellowship hall watching the children, and entering into their joy, it occurred to me that God had fulfilled the sense I had in prayer. He had done it in a way I did not expect but he did it. The children later told me that they had never seen hail that large, and I told them to think about what they had seen. In the storm, God had graciously displayed his power. He didn’t allow us to think about his power only, he allowed us to see it. And, I told the children, he will use that power in our lives if we will only believe. Sometimes he will chase away our enemies, sometimes he will heal our diseases, sometimes he will sustain us and display his power through our weakness. But at all times through Christ he will work his great power in us if we only believe.

As Paul prayed for the Ephesians, “that you may know…what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might, that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Eph 1:19-21).

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