Severe Storm Alerts

August 10, 2023 | Carrie Henry

“The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch in effect until 7pm this evening for the following areas in Tennessee…”

The skies were blue and cloudless this morning. Heat and humidity hung in the air, typical of August in Tennessee. There wasn’t a sign of the coming storm until late morning.  

Beyond the horizon, and with little warning, dark clouds suggested its approach. Strong gusts of wind ruffled a nearby flag and, as the clouds approached and grew darker, the wind exposed the light undersides of leaves on trees across the street. Lightning and thunder filled the thick air as heavy rain pounded the roof of the house and the windows.

In the middle of it all, in our new front yard, a lone little tree was bent by the force of the wind. It looked as though it would break at any moment. But it bent and it swayed, and it stood. Seeing this little tree during the storm recalled the huge maple trees that surrounded our previous home. Their size, being side by side with others, and longevity made the old trees seem invulnerable while the little tree seemed unguarded.

For our little tree, we might consider staking it until, as the professionals say, it’s strong enough to support its own weight.

This makes me think of my journey with Jesus Christ, specifically as a woman, a daughter, a mother, a sister, a friend. I am broken but hopeful, aware of some of my needs and increasingly awakened to God’s grace piled upon grace for me. My husband and I both follow Christ. We are, however, uniquely male and female. We need different support.

It has been a blessing to my growth for the past thirty-seven years to sit beside women whose hearts and minds are saturated in Scripture. I’ve seen and heard how these ladies’ lives, and my own, are being transformed by the Spirit into Christ’s image. These sisters aren’t perfect, but they are growing in Christ and proclaiming his praiseworthy deeds. They have been available to me, taking time to pray with and for me. In turn, God has given me opportunity to do the same with younger women. 

Ministry among men and women takes place in lots of ways in our church body, such as the commitments that flow out of our shared life in Christ: worship gatherings, community groups, ministry service, financial partnership, and evangelism. The goal of Woven, Fellowship’s ministry among women, is not to keep us busy with fun, fellowship, or service projects but to help us grow in faith.   

“But as for you (Titus), teach what accords with sound doctrine…Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”  (Titus 2:3-5)

This noteworthy call to gospel-driven, gender-specific discipleship was given while Titus was pastoring a church on the island of Crete among deceitful, disobedient people. Of all things, Paul urged Titus to come against this corruption by telling older women to encourage and equip younger women to live godly lives.

As God’s Word instructs and makes wise the hearts of women (true for the men as well), entire families are reached with the gospel. What a delightful call for us as a body to cultivate connected followers of Christ! And for women in our community to connect and teach younger women on their journey as together we grow as disciples who make disciples.

Let’s pray for growth in faith and gospel fruit as we go and make disciples. Each one, reach one!