In the Wake of Disaster

    It seems that no matter where one lives in this country there are natural disasters that are known for that area.  For example in the mid-west there are states that are familiar with tornados.  Far out west earthquakes and wildfires are experienced more than they’d like.  The Gulf-coast and south-eastern states are familiar with hurricanes.  Severe droughts in some parts, ice storms in others, everywhere you go there is some aspect of nature that on occasion is difficult to deal with.


    Florida was just recently impacted by Hurricane Irma not long after Hurricane Harvey greatly impacted parts of Texas and Louisiana.  It was an impressive storm as it was the largest on record so far in size.  After battering most of the islands south of the Florida peninsula it made landfall in the Florida keys and drove straight up the state with its eye on the western side.  Thousands of people in south and central Florida evacuated and drove north to escape this powerful storm.


    No matter where you live or what devastating natural event you experience like this the question I think we need to ask is can anything good come out of this.  In no way would I begin to downplay the seriousness of this past storm nor its impact on so many people.  Not only did this storm cause tremendous damage in some places, lives were lost.  But with that said what is the takeaway for me and my family?  Following events like this what is the takeaway for you and your family?


    It amazed me to see so many people heading north prior to the storm’s arrival.  I understand why they left but many here in our area were talking a lot about the amazement to see HWY19 bumper to bumper and at a standstill.  Because of the incoming storm it seemed like everyone’s thinking shifted to the same things: gas, water, bread, and generators it seems.  With all the things that occupy our lives, events like these seem to bring the focus back to our most basic needs.


    So can anything good come out of this?


Seeking Refuge:  Psalm 18:2 – “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”  I’m confident many if not the majority of us were seeking refuge through prayer before, during, and after the storm passed.  It reminds us that while we look on in amazement of how powerful and large this storm was, we can talk to the One who spoke it into existence and seek refuge and safe keeping.


Burden Bearing:  1 John 3:17-18 – “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”  Though you don’t hear a lot of positive things in the news these days there have been stories shared of the great ways people are helping one another.  It is so encouraging to see so many in our  area helping those who are in need.  From providing and sharing provisions to simply offering a hot shower and hot meal to those still without power.


Perspective Adjustment:  Matthew 6:31-33 – “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Times like these remind us of what truly matters in this life and what is truly valuable.  We’re reminded that the things of this life are perishable but our relationship with God and with one another are what truly matters.  We sometimes lose focus on what things are really important and we don’t appreciate the many blessings we have.  Remember where all good things come from we can refocus what is most important in this life.