Christ and Calamity
Grace and Gratitude in the Darkest Valley
Lord, do you not care if we perish?
That's what the frightened disciples shouted to Jesus as he slept in the stern of a storm-tossed boat. In the midst of suffering and uncertainty, we're all prone to think that God has forgotten us, he doesn't care, or he's powerless to do anything.
And that's true of us in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Christ and Calamity, Harold L. Senkbeil speaks pastorally to our suffering and uncertainty. Senkbeil shows God's constant and faithful grace to us. With Paul he encourages us: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess 5:16–18).
Calamities come in many different sizes, and God addresses them all in his word and by his Spirit. Even when we don't see or feel it, God is always faithful.
“If I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (Ps 139:9–10).
The disciples' faith in the midst of the storm may have been weak, but Jesus was mighty to save. And he will save you, too. No matter how small your faith, you can count on him to hear your anguished cry and to answer.
Harold L. Senkbeil is author of the award-winning book The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart (Lexham Press). He is executive director emeritus of Doxology: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care. His pastoral experience of nearly five decades includes parish ministry, the seminary classroom, and parachurch leadership.