Acts 11:29 So each of the disciples, according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brothers who lived in Judea.
The silver lining to every cloud is that you can see the cloud.
Mary Anne Noland died this year. Her obituary read, “Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016.” Sometimes the future looks too bleak to deal with. I’m sure a frustrating election wasn’t really what brought Mary to her end, but it is true that when the ominous and unavoidable approaches, it can seem futile to resist or even mitigate.
Can we really do anything about the political climate? About corporate corruption? About national debt? Poverty? As dark storms of life approach, it becomes more likely to adopt a laissez-faire approach to life. Sometimes we just look at the oncoming clouds and wonder where the silver lining is. Might be worth considering that the silver lining to every cloud is that you can see the cloud.
In Acts 11, Agabus the prophet speaks and the disciples see the cloud. A famine was coming. But because these new believers in Antioch were steeped in faith, they saw the silver lining. Rather than shrugging their shoulders helplessly or panicking and Y2K-stockpiling, they had hope and not just for themselves but for others. They put that faith, hope and love into action. Before the famine struck (in about 47 AD), they sent food and supplies to their friends in Judea. Think about that. They met a need before the need arrived!
Sometimes when I note the increasing chaos, the moral decline, political corruption, I wonder if those who prophesy doom aren’t true prophets. The Bible does speak of a dark day to come. But regardless of the tribulation that approaches, we must remember this example set by those in Antioch, the first to be called Christians: When you see dark skies approaching, be thankful you can see them and then let your faith, hope and love for others drive you to do something.