Lessons Learned Through the Destruction of a Hurricane

Good morning, friends.

Like you, I've sat glued to my computer screen watching in horror and sadness as thousands of people deal with the overwhelming tragedy of last weekend's hurricane in Texas.

I've prayed so many prayers.  I've cried tears.  I've sat helpless as I've watched strangers - people I have never met before, fight for their lives...put others before themselves...open their hearts and homes, and I am moved to an overwhelming flood of emotion.

This is what it is all about. 

At this moment, in a small part of the world, people are not fighting.  They are loving. 

Through this disaster, a majority of differences of opinion on everything from politics to lifestyles, has been silenced and a greater purpose has taken over.

Lord, how do we somehow bottle this moment up?  How do we grasp the deeper nugget of truth through all of this?  What is it that you are trying to teach us through this tragedy?

Here are a few things that I have been reminded of this week:

1.  People are people.  Somehow the enemy gets us so hung up on the color of one's skin, but all we need to remember is that there is one race - the human race, and we were all created by one God, our Heavenly Father, who has enough love for all of us.

2.  Human suffering brings out compassion in others.  I've seen it.  We can get so busy and bogged down with life, but when another human being suffers, somehow God tugs on our heart strings and we feel compelled to help.  Where does that love and compassion come from?  From our Creator who wants to love us through others.

3.  We are never really alone.  From the police officer who lost his life in the dark, murky flood, to the helpless pregnant mother surrounded by water, to the two dogs stranded in the boat, God sees them all, and for each individual who will call upon His name, He will walk through the fiery trial right beside them.  That does not mean our world will be pristine and without harmful effect, but it does mean that we will have the comfort of a loving Father who knows and understands our suffering and grief.

4.  Trials strengthen our faith.  If we never experience hardship, our faith is nothing but shallow ground.  Imagine if a tree never had to brace itself against tremendous wind and torrential rainfall.  That tree's roots would be shallow and the tree would eventually topple because of lack of depth.  Yet, because a tree does experience these things, the roots have been trained to dig down deep; to anchor itself to the depths of the soil.  We are like that tree.  With every trial, our roots go a little deeper, and hopefully, we are learning to anchor down to the solid rock, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

And finally...

5.  Trials remind us of how small we really are in comparison to how big God really is.  Like sheep, we go our own way.  We forget who is really in charge of all things around us.  When trials come, it helps to refocus our heart and mind...to see that some things are beyond our control.  Yet, there is One who still has complete control, and it is He that we should turn to.  We are but a speck of dust in this complex creation, yet God lovingly holds every minute detail in place without nothing escaping His attention.  For me, that is comforting.

With all this said, I guess all we can do is pray.  Isn't that the most effective thing anyway?  Like James tells us in Chapter 5, verse 16b, "The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."

Let's continue to set our differences aside and unite in prayer for our fellow man, for through this, God can heal a nation.