This is day four of devotions related to the disaster in Alabama. In helping volunteer yesterday I was in a very high end subdivision and a good deal of them lost everything. The main thing each of the residents said that I spoke with was that thank goodness they had their family and their life and they could rebuild.Many gave praise to God for sparing their life. Now these people had a lot of stuff and nice stuff. The whole thing was no doubt very overwhelming for them.Their possessions lay in a heap of torn, wet rubble and only a few things salvageable. I have not gone through anything like this but we sure do like our 'stuff ' and wonder sometimes if you were in a tragedy what would you grab and take with you. The thing is you grab your family and leave your things behind! No one I ran into today was really angry. Most made jokes about having a sun roof in their home or that they would just like to find their driver's license when in fact their cars were smashed underneath their home. Oh sure, I saw shock, stunned faces and some sadness. How can people not be grieving at a time like this? Any loss produces immense grief.
1 Timothy 6:8 says " if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." We are blessed with an abundance of things in the United States, sometimes way too many things that we could probably do without. And when a fire, flood, tornado or other natural disasters occur it is sad to lose possessions, particularly photographs, but the sadder thing would be the loss of life. The Bible tells us to not trust in riches. Proverbs 23:5 says "Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle." These 'riches' of the people I was helping literally 'flew off' into the wind and maybe landed torn up miles away. This is not to say we should not have nice things if we want. But we should be careful to not let our things consume us and become idols in our life. One older widow I spoke with said she saw now she did not need the bigger home and all the things she thought she had to have and planned to downsize when it was time to rebuild. She was just thankful to be alive.
PRAYER: Dear Lord we do not know why disasters happen. Many people have lost lives and many others lost their home or their work since power is still not on in Huntsville where most of these people work. Father we just say thanks for life you have given us. Thank you for a warm bed to sleep in, for a house or apartment or a trailer to live in and thank you for friends, family and strangers who are there for us in a time of need. We pray for those deeply affected by this tremendous tragedy and ask that you comfort them and give them peace as only you can. In Jesus Name. Amen.