Climate Change: God’s Plan For Calming Life’s Storms
The sun disappeared. The sirens sounded. Swirling, dark clouds, like a massive felt-tipped marker, dropped out of the sky and left its ugly black mark on the countryside. The May 2013 tornado that swept through Moore, Oklahoma, was one of the deadliest in history. It claimed the lives of twenty-four people.
The Nation watched as sobbing parents and friends were sifting through the wreckage, trying to unearth their children. A demand was made to ensure there was never a repeat performance of this tragedy.
For all the speeches about making it possible to survive one of these deadly storms, there was no talk about how to stop them. No campaign was launched to figure out how never to have another tornado. Survival was the rallying cry. Enduring was the ultimate goal. Schemes were rolled out to enable folks to ride out the weather and live another day.
This same desire for survival and endurance has invaded our lives as believers. Bookshelves and pulpits are flooded with instructions on how to hold on, survive, batten down the hatches, grit your teeth, clench your fist, make it through, and simply persevere. But seldom do we address significant change.
We confuse climate and weather. Climate is what sets weather into motion; it dictates what the weather will be. We beat our chests in anger about the storm we are facing. We shake our fists at God for allowing the weather, while we refuse to allow Jesus to address the climate of our lives that produces the weather pattern we hate.
The truth is that most of us are really just enduring the same storm we’ve been fighting for years. If we aren’t willing to address the climate of our lives, then we shouldn’t be shocked by the weather that continues to develop!
When we confuse climate and weather, we simply want Jesus to prepare us for bad weather or go one step further and relegate Him to fixing the storm we’ve gotten ourselves into.
Climate change is hard but Jesus can teach us how to stop the storms once and for all. Jesus holds our life; we can trust Him to help us through the painful moments, necessary cuts, and stormy, thunder-filled days. We can relinquish our preferences and our belief in our own abilities to make the necessary climate changes on our own. That kind of change is worth every tear and fear! We can establish a “Kingdom Climate” so that we begin to experience “Kingdom Weather”!
About the Author
Steve Ely began his ministry in 1990 after graduating from Southwestern College of Christian Ministries. He moved to McColl, South Carolina, where he served as Youth Pastor for almost 2 years at McColl First Pentecostal Holiness Church.
In 1991, Steve married his wife, Julie Yeargan Ely. They then moved to Greenville, North Carolina, to accept the position of Youth Minister of the First Pentecostal Holiness Church, where they served successfully for 6 1/2 years.
In September 1998, Steve and Julie returned to Oklahoma, where Steve accepted the position of Director of Student Admissions and Director of Spiritual Life (Campus Pastor) for Southwestern Christian University. Julie served at SCU for 11 years as the Chair of the Music Department and the Director of the college music outreach group called One Voice.
In September 2000, Steve was named National Youth Director of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. He served in this position for seven years, working with Bishop Doug Beacham and Bishop Talmadge Gardner. While in this role, Steve received his Master of Ministry Degree from Southwestern Christian University.
Steve’s first book, The Hidden Hinges of Youth Ministry, was published during his tenure.
In August of 2007, Steve and Julie planted Passion Church in Oklahoma City. In turn, there have been two Pasion Iglesia Campuses born out of this ministry, along with one daughter church. Julie, after eleven years as an elementary school teacher, is once again serving as the chair of the Music Department at Southwestern Christian University and Director of One Voice.
Steve and Julie have two sons: Talmadge, who is married to Kelley, and Devin.
In June 2023, Steve was named as the Director of Clergy Development for the International Pentecostal Holiness Church.