Sunday, May 29, 2011

Once More With Feeling

It was frightening. Hunkered down in an inside hallway and hearing the constant wind and looking into the pitch black darkness made me think, “He will come like a thief in the night. You will know neither the hour nor the day.”

Well, we knew the day and around what time, but He didn’t come like a thief in the night. Too noisy. And once again we’re asking “why?” Why are we getting battered with so many disasters? Cullman got assaulted by fierce tornados. Two dead. Hundreds injured. Devastation everywhere. So, why? I believe God noisily blew through Cullman to get our attention once more and, to do that, He did it this time with feeling: the howling and destructive wind of an F4 tornado.

As I’ve often said, I believe these are ‘blessings in disguise’, opportunities to come together. Compassion usually follows chaos. What happened in our town after the storm was unbelievable. The Red Cross, not to mention virtually all the local churches, sprang into action, offering food and shelter. Everyone cared for everyone. I’ll never forget it.

But, I’ve also said I believe these disasters are messages to ‘get our act together’. God is sending us more and more tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires and whatever, because, apparently, the blessing idea is not enough. We’re not getting the message. We’re not listening to His voice in the endless wind and the pounding rain. We’re not seeing His anger in the uprooted trees, the smashed homes, the lives He chose to end. Even though this should tell us how everything is here one moment and gone the next, many of us still don’t ‘get it’. We come together, fix whatever’s broken and go our old merry, sinful way. Seems to me.

This time, the loss of lights, TV, internet access and hot water, for heaven’s sake, would seem to be another way the Lord is trying to get our attention. We take so much for granted in our lives. We don’t appreciate all of our conveniences until they’re taken away.

As a matter of fact, when the power was out, how many times did you flip the switch when you went into the darkened bathroom? (Yeah, just as I thought.) The simple act of turning on a light should remind us every time that our lives are dependent on a Supreme Being. He’s the One Who flipped on the switch when we were born. The simple act of breathing is the light in our lives that could easily be flipped off anytime.

So, let us pray for those who lost everything. Even though our God might be angry, we have a God who is giving us a warning. That tells me He’s fair and He loves us. He really wants us to enjoy what He has planned for us. He could just as easily come like that thief in the night without a warning.

Perhaps we should think of that every time we enter our bathroom and, well, flip the switch.

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