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Sunday, 22 July 2018
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Opportunity Often Opens After the Storm

Hearing a message about the “Gerasene Demoniac” the other day, I learned something new. We know the story, of a man possessed by a legion of demons who could break shackles, who often cried out in the city and basically terrorized everyone.

Into this scary situation in a gentile village stepped Jesus, who ordered the demons into a bunch of pigs (about $2 million worth of pork!), sending them into the sea where they drowned.

There is a lot to be learned here, certainly. For one, this man—once possessed—becomes the first person to share the story of Jesus with gentiles. Interesting stuff.

What I missed about this story is that immediately before reaching the country of the Gerasenes, Jesus faced a storm. This is the famous storm where Jesus says, “Hush, be still,” calming the winds and stunning the disciples.

I overlooked this connection because of a chapter break, which obviously was not in the original text.

Did the enemy produce this storm because he knew Jesus was about to perform one of His most powerful miracles and open His message to the gentiles for the first time? I don’t know, but it is an interesting question.

What we do know is that immediately after the storm, Jesus seized an incredible opportunity.

Perhaps this is more of a devotional than a column. But they call me a senior writer, so I get some flexibility.

And, reading a recent story in Pregnancy Help News about Lifeline Pregnancy Center in Cuba, MO had me thinking about storms and opportunities. In a sentence or two, here is what happened:

Two years ago, Cuba, Missouri experienced a storm. The creek near Lifeline Pregnancy Center overflowed its banks and poured into the center. In short, Lifeline was forced to leave the office they had rented since opening.

But because of the storm, many of you chipped in to help. While there will be more to the story, Lifeline now has a new, expanded facility to serve clients more effectively, offering more services. They own this home, with a payment lower than the rent they paid in their former facility.

Today, opportunities abound for Lifeline. Because of a storm.

Allow me to rephrase (and say the same thing): A storm—something we as humans automatically see as a negative event—created a wonderful opportunity for executive director Lori Amato and a ministry seeking to change lives and save lives.

The question for all of us in the pregnancy help community is, whether figurative or literal, “How do we view a storm?” 

Tweet This: The question for all of us in the pregnancy help community is, “How do we view a storm?” #prolife @kirkwalden

Every time our organizations face a storm, we can choose. We can choose to fret, we can choose to curse the enemy who caused the storm (and let’s be honest, there is an enemy out there)...or we can choose to ask, “Is there an opportunity here to help us advance our mission?”

Friends, in our work we can count on storms. Like Lifeline, we may experience natural disasters. Or, the storms may come through opposition to our work, financial challenges, or other reasons. The storms are real, and we can never take storms lightly. 

It would be nice to say that whenever a storm comes, we can tap-dance through the waves and wind with platitudes like, “God’s got this!” It’s true, He does know the storm and His Son might calm the storm with “Hush, be still.”

But sometimes, the storm lasts. And lasts.

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The good news is that at some point every storm ceases. When it does, we must embrace the opportunities on the other side. Lori Amato and her team did just that. It’s an example all of us can follow.

Kirk Walden

Kirk Walden is a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News, an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and author of The Wall. He also blogs at www.kirkwalden.com. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter (@KirkWalden) and he is a new Instagrammer (kirkwalden). For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau.

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