Pastor Mickey began today’s message by introducing Deputy Chief Perry Pete with San Diego Fire & Rescue, who was a leader in the task force aid at ground zero on September 11 along with Pastor Mickey. Reflecting on this and other disasters, Chief Pete encouraged us to be prepared with a disaster plan in the event of an emergency. Local emergency services are overwhelmed for an average of 72 hours, and there are 1.2 million people in San Diego with only 47 fire stations to respond to emergency situations.
Make sure you have food, water, lights, batteries, and other supplies on hand to care for your family. You can find a guide to creating a Family & Friends Disaster Response Plan at: www.co.san-diego.ca.us/oes/docs/FamilyDisasterPlan.pdf
As a church, we can also be ready to respond to the needs of our community in the event of an emergency, such as the wide-scale blackouts we experienced this week, fire, earthquake, floods, etc. In such an event, the Rock will be a dispatch facility to send out volunteers where they are needed. Therefore, the Rock is offering two one-hour orientations (September 25 or 26) to discover how you can help support the community in the event of an emergency.
If the foundations are destroyed,
What can the righteous do?
The Lord is in His holy temple,
The Lord’s throne is in heaven;
His eyes behold,
His eyelids test the sons of men. Psalm 11:3-4
Can you remember where you were the morning of September 11, 2001?
Pastor Mickey, who serves as a chaplain and trauma specialist, was part of a response team on call for the month of September 2001. His pager beeped early in the morning of the 11th to alert him that there had been an airline disaster with mass casualties. Only hours later, he was coordinating at Ground Zero in the family assistance center and temporary morgue.
When these major tragedies come, life is reduced to the bare essentials: faith, family and friends – our relationships with God and with each other.
Of course, Pastor Mickey has many significant memories of serving during the tragedy of 9/11. For you, maybe 9/11 was not so impactful, but we all have experienced or will experience major loss and grieving in our lives. When these major tragedies come, life is reduced to the bare essentials: faith, family and friends – our relationships with God and with each other.
We may have a family disaster plan for earthly disasters, but what about our Faith Disaster Plan? How can we minister to ourselves and others when facing tragedy? First and foremost, we must connect with the living God.
When I thought how to understand this,
It was too painful for me—
Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their end. Psalm 73:16-17
Are we so busy that we don’t have time for sanctuary? In Luke 42, Jesus says clearly that sitting in His presence is more important than busying ourselves with tasks and service. We are a Do Something church, but doing something should always grow out of being something. We must sit with God and connect with Him first in order to love the people around us.
Know that God is on the throne. He is still in charge, even in the midst of earthly chaos.
Job 1:20-22 - “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Psalm 61:2
Allow God to be God. Listen to Him, commune with Him, and pray.
Isaiah 40:31 - “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Psalm 37:7
Draw close to the Lord through the Bible. God’s Word can wash your heart and mind so that you will be transformed, renewed, and strengthened.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16
More Scripture for Meditation:
Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You; yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously? Jeremiah 12:1
O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble?...“But the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:4
Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabach¬thani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:45-46
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:17-18
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17