Tomorrow is Sunday, the first day of the week, the day of celebrating the truth of the gospel, resting in the power of the gospel, and worshiping the God of the gospel. We’re also supposed to have a pretty major ice/snow storm blow into our area beginning in the morning. Sometime in the next few hours the weather conditions may be getting rough.
That has me thinking about the night we went to bed on another March 1st evening. Two years ago on March 1, 2012 Amy and I went to bed knowing that forecasters were saying the weather the next day might get rough. They were right. It really did, and I can still see the tornado swirling over the horizon in my mind’s eye.
Tomorrow is March 2nd, and in the years that I’ve lived in Henryville (since 2010) there hasn’t been anything that has shaped our town and community like that storm in 2012. Tomorrow will be the two year anniversary. That storm has brought so many changes to our community, so many tragedies, so many blessings, and so many visible evidences of the powerful work of God. What happened in its wake is truly indescribable. Yet at the end of the day, I believe with all my heart that the ordinary and weekly event of preaching the Bible is the fountain of revival, and the wind of the Spirit’s work.
The mighty wind of the tornado is a mere tropical breeze in comparison to the gospel whirlwind that breaks loose, that destroys strongholds, that frees prisons, every time its pages are opened.
So regardless of what the weather may bring, like every Saturday evening, I’m going to go to sleep with one hope, one assurance, and one expectation: I’m looking forward to sitting under the preaching of the Word of God tomorrow. The raging windstorm of God’s power demonstrated in the truth of his Word is the powerful and raging cyclone that has my attention when the snow storm strikes and as March 2nd dawns.
This one simple, subversive, counter-cultural, counter-intuitive, and astonishingly revolutionary act is the most important thing I will do this week. My week may include thawing out of the ice storm, turning in a huge research paper, going to class, visiting and counseling friends in the church, spending time with my wife, and a thousand other mundane events. But the most important thing is what I’m planning on doing beginning around 11:00 AM tomorrow morning, “God willing and the ice don’t fall.” Hearing the faithful preaching of scripture, hearing from God, having the Spirit apply its truth to my life, is the only truly indispensable event.
So I want to invite you to celebrate the scriptures far more than you fear the snow or tremble at the memory of the tornado. Celebrate God speaking, and tremble at his voice. Do not give to the storm, any storm, the place of prominence or the credit for revival that only the Word deserves. The storms we have gone through together have done many things, but only the gospel revealed only in the pages of the Bible has the power to change any life.
Martin Luther, thinking back on the power of the gospel that swept through Europe through the workings of the Reformation, got it right. He wrote, “Take me, for example. I opposed indulgences and all papists, but never by force. I simply taught, preached, wrote God’s Word: otherwise I did nothing. And then, while I slept…the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that never a prince or emperor did such damage to it. I did nothing: the Word did it all.”
Amen and Amen. So, Like Luther I’m going to sleep knowing that regardless of what tomorrow brings, whether it be an arctic blast or a mighty thunderstorm, God is good, God is sovereign, and God has spoken. I’m going to rest, knowing that whatever tomorrow may bring, God’s Word is at work.
And that (and that alone) has made all the difference.