#ElevatedFriday, September 8th, 2017
As the nation prepares for Hurricane Irma, more stories of heroism and selflessness continue to emerge from the Houston area from Hurricane Harvey. One such story is of a group of bakers who were trapped in their bakery for two days because of rising flood waters. The four bakers working the late shift at El Bolillo Bakery realized that they could not leave the store after their shift finished due to the rushing flood waters. Many in a dire situation like this might panic, or at the very least, focus all their energy on how to save themselves. However these four brave bakers did something simple, yet incredible: they baked. They baked for two straight days, utilizing over 4,400 pounds of flour to produce bread that, when the waters receded, they donated to the emergency shelters around the city.
We all will face terrifying circumstances in our lives, whether from natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, or from financial stress, relationship failings, or countless other sources. For many of us, our natural instinct in times of great stress is survival. It is immediately switching our thinking from “How can I help others?” to “How do I save myself?” The Apostle Paul says of these times, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” In times we feel struck down or hard pressed, we cannot save ourselves. It is only through Jesus that we can be saved, and his way is never found by asking, “How can I save myself?” Jesus’ escape door from life’s challenges is found in serving others in His name. Put another way, no matter how down you may feel, you are still blessed, and therefore, you have the means to bless others. Pray today for Jesus to reveal the escape door in your strife, and the people to bless standing behind it.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” -- 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 NIV