Blown Away

Hello? Anyone still there? I don't think I've ever gone this long without posting, but it seems like the only time I've had available to do so ended with the letters "a.m." and did not involve the sun being up. So, I'm behind. It's also been hard to decide what to write about and/or how to sum it all up.

We've been inundated with fun stuff around here lately, but it just didn't seem right to delve into the excitement that is my life without somehow acknowledging the great tragedy that has unfolded all around us. Yet, what words can describe the sadness of it all? And what words could ever fully express my gratitude that my family was spared? What words can explain the unexplainable nature of it all? I wrote this post last night, but I've hesitated to even publish it because it all sounds a bit trite coming from someone whose life was not torn apart by it all.

Nine days ago, hundreds of people were killed, thousands of homes were destroyed, and countless lives were changed forever. Nine days ago, my family was fighting fear as the monster tornado we had watched gobble up lives and homes on television was headed straight for us. We huddled in our basement with our bicycle helmets on and a mattress on top of us, waiting for what would come and praying for God's mercy. As it turns out, it came straight for our house, but for some reason that only God knows, it wasn't on the ground at that time. We took a deep breath, thanked the Lord, took a peek outside as it moved away over the hills beyond us, and went upstairs and ate our dinner.

I wasn't blown away that day, but I am blown away by the mystery and the tragedy of it all. We can wonder all day long, or all our lives for that matter, why things happen the way they do. Many blame Satan for things like the horrible tornado outbreak of last week, but my Bible tells me it's God who controls the winds and the waves, the thunder and the lightening. I serve a God who is sovereign and who the enemy is no match for. I also live in a world that is cursed because of sin and I live a life that is subject to the consequences of sin...not necessarily my own (though I have plenty) but of sin itself. Its presence in this world means there will be tragedy, and I do believe that God is ultimately the one who sends it. It seems that many are afraid to "blame" God, as if our placing responsibility on Him will cause others to doubt Him, or - worse - hate Him. As if our judgments of Him actually change who He is. No matter what we label Him, God is a just and sovereign God and we live in a fallen world.

The amazing thing about God is that, even as He spins the wind into a tornado, He is good and His purpose in it is good. I know better than to ever think that I could possibly know all of God's purpose in something like this, other than the general purpose that applies to everything in this world...His great glory. However, He showed me one of the many reasons behind it all through one of those ordinary life moments today.

Luke has this thing that he does that, frankly, drives me crazy at times. He is generally a fun and happy little guy who keeps us laughing. But there is one thing that just really ticks him off and that's a toy that will not cooperate. He is so great about playing happily by himself and will do so often, which makes my heart so happy. (I am many things, but a good playmate is not one of them. Just being honest here.) However, he can be playing contentedly one minute and one toy can refuse to stay standing up when he wants it to stand, or another one might fall apart when he wants it to stay together, and everyone in the neighborhood will know it. He repeatedly screams in frustration and anger and sometimes might even throw the stinkin' toy that will not do his bidding. Each time, I go to him and remind him of what he should do in these situations. "Come to mommy. I care and I can help you."

It happened today, and when the screaming got to the point where it was probably going to wake the sleeping baby (heaven forbid!), I sought him out. He had been playing with Maddie's doll house, but somehow the big ol' thing had fallen over and all the people and furniture had spilled out. I was struck with the similarity of the scene to the many pictures I've stared at over the last week. Houses fallen over and bits of shattered lives spilled out everywhere. As I reminded Luke once again, "All you have to do is call Mommy. I'll come and help you," I heard God saying, "All you have to do is come to me. I care. I will help you. Why do you cry and scream in anger when I'm right here?"

The hard stuff will come. We live in a world cursed by our sin. But we have a Savior who cares and will help us pick up the pieces. The truth of the matter is, when we're playing contentedly in our happy little lives, we rarely think to call to the One we truly need. So He sends the winds and the storms to remind us that we are only dust and this world is not all there is and to call out to Him, the One who cares, who helps, who satisfies, who saves. We label these storms as "bad," but they can bring about such good. He can see forever. We can only see our little slice of today. I have a feeling that if we could see what He sees, our idea of good and bad, joy and pain might be a little different. I can't tell you why my home stands and my children breathe while others just miles away cannot say the same. But I know the One who does know, and I know that He is good and He is near to the broken-hearted. All we have to do is call.

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17-18


Post a Comment

Popular Posts