Several weeks ago a devastating storm ripped through our city. Over 1,000 houses were destroyed, and tragically, four lives were lost. I was out of town for a youth rally when the messages began lighting up my phone. Church members were asking if we were okay. The storm track had the tornado coming right over my house. As I frantically called home, my mind raced through every scenario possible. After several attempts, I finally heard my family’s voices and knew that they were okay! As I have reflected on this situation, several things came to mind.
1. We Never Know What a Day Will Hold
As we went to bed and prepared for the next day, we had no idea that our lives would change that day. Many People got up that morning and went through their daily routine in a house that is no longer there! Beautiful neighborhoods were turned into debris fields, and houses were gutted in a moment.
Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.—Proverbs 27:1
2. Destruction Can Take Place in a Moment
When I came into town, I passed the neighborhoods that had been affected. It shocked me to see how much destruction took place in that minute and a half that the tornado passed through. What I noticed immediately was the loss of mighty live oak trees. With their massive spreading branches, those trees are a symbol of southern life, and in a blink of an eye, they are gone. I’m reminded that what may take a lifetime to build or grow can be destroyed in a moment. Remember that, when it comes to your testimony or your family, or your ministry!
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.—1 Corinthians 9:27
3. We Must Keep a Proper Perspective
When we began to check on our church families, not once did we ask how their couches, refrigerators, televisions, or cars were. We were only concerned with those people we love. Perspective often gets lost in life. We find ourselves spending what we don’t have, to buy what we don’t need, to impress those we don’t like! We put our focus on the things we are working for, and forget to be kind, patient and loving to the people we live with.
See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.—1 Peter 1:22b
Let’s rekindle our love for each other, and refocus our perspective on what is truly important.
We rejoice with those who suffered no losses, and we weep with those who did. We will continue to pitch in to help others rebuild their houses and pick up the pieces, but we must not lose sight of the lessons we have learned.