Vilonia, Arkansas * Tuscaloosa, Alabama * Joplin, Missouri * Springfield, Massachusetts
What's the only thing these towns all have in common (at least that I'm aware of)? All received major damage from recent tornadoes.
These and other natural disasters can teach us a number of things. I'm sure many other writers, bloggers, and speakers have all expressed themselves better than I ever could about why these things happen, or what God's trying to say through it. But I'm not going to tackle that topic exactly. This is not going to be a theological discussion on why God is or isn't sovereign, or if disasters are punishments and warnings or not. I just would like to share what I learned from our recent, severe tornado season.
Similar to what I learned when I watched our neighbor's beautiful home burn to the ground last November on Thanksgiving weekend, I saw how much I valued this vain life on earth. I made my decisions based on the few short years given me on this planet. I clung to, desired, and loved the petty things of this world. I had lost focus on the Creator of the earth, the Giver of life in a place beyond this planet, and the riches and wealth found in the King of another world.
And suddenly, nothing else mattered anymore. God was (and is) working on me to be able to honestly say, "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord"! There is so much we think we need, but we really don't.
In one of the many storms we had here last April, another twister was spotted and said to be coming right over our area. Before we had much chance to respond, our power went out, and with it our lights and outside communication. As those of us who were home began discussing the logistics of where to hide and what to do when it came, I realized that even the first few precious possessions that came to mind--my harp, my violin, and my Bible--I immediately laid back down to the Lord, knowing that those things really didn't matter. Even all my books, even my scrapbooks, even my home, even my car, even my family. They're not mine in the first place so why do I still grasp on to them? Why make God pry my fingers open to take it when I could willingly and joyfully give it to Him now?
The tornado didn't touch down, and our home wasn't hit. Only a few small limbs fell, and the worst hail damage we got was to the side window visors on Daddy's truck. We regained power in the wee hours of the morning, and our lives were back to normal relatively quick.
But God's lesson for me definitely hit home. It left a few marks and recharged me with Power. I only hope my life doesn't go back to normal relatively quick.