On what do you reflect when you experience tragedy like Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath?
Hurricane Harvey is beating down on the coast of Texas, and parts further inland at this point, as I write this. I sit in comfort and safety in my home in Tennessee, praying and considering what we can do to help. I realize in the midst of this that I have so much I’m blessed with, so much to be thankful for. But I also realize that I’m missing some things. It takes times like these to realize that:
I’m not prayerful enough. Tragedy brings about a renewed interest in reaching the Almighty, as it should. It also points out that sometimes my prayers are too few or too petty. Prayer is more than cliché; its significance is greater than that of a slogan. Prayer moves mountains, but oh, how dependent I seem to be on my own strength!
I’m not prepared enough. Could my family and I survive a catastrophe of the magnitude of Hurricane Harvey? West Tennessee has its own challenges, even if we aren’t subject to hurricanes. I’m always a bit in awe of how ill-prepared I am for the storms that are likely to blow through our neck of the woods. Even more so that I seem to move so slowly to correct my ill-preparedness. How many of my human weaknesses could be remedied with a little action taken in a timely manner?
And, I’m not proud enough. Photos and stories of protests across the nation haven’t gone away entirely. But they have been shoved aside for photos of the best that humanity has to offer, as neighbors from near and far work to rescue and prepare to rebuild. It is a societal ill, even if it is en vogue at this moment, to be ashamed of our country, our people, and our values. Forget about proclaiming God’s judgment. If a storm helps me see the best in those around me, and inspires the best in me, then it is an act of God’s mercy.
My boys and I sing Ryan Stevenson’s song called Eye of the Storm. It was the first song I learned to play on guitar. It is a meaningful song, especially now. God remains in control through every storm. Having been through many storms in this life, I know that it’s true. Every passing storm shows how merciful of a God Jesus Christ is. And each storm offers us the opportunity to become stronger, more thankful, and better able to handle the next one. As tremendously devastating as Harvey is, it is just a storm. And recovery is just around the corner.