Recently I saw a church sign similar to the title of my devotion. This sign is so pertinent to what has just happened in my local area that being the second outbreak of tornado's on a major scale within the same year. Not only did they hit but they struck the same area and some of the same homes were blown apart again.
Just a couple days ago I rallied with other area volunteers to once again, in less than a year, help the same tornado victims who had been hurt on 27 April 2011. How do you help those who have lost their homes and possessions in not one tornado, but two in less than a year? First thing you may think is "move somewhere else for crying out loud!" Not everyone can do that, but some do. These people are stunned that a less powerful F2 or F3 hit them with a direct hit less than 12 months from the F4 or F5 that hit 27 April 2011. How do you go on after a second devastation like this? It is almost like the 'Job Syndrome' where in the book of Job he lost it all. Get a cup of coffee and sit down and read Job. What do you say to bring comfort to these hurting people who once again have gone through immense material loss?
How do you bring hope to people who have had hopes and dreams of moving into their brand new homes with brand new possessions when the unexplainable happened and blew walls, roofs, and windows from their new homes, some of which were not even moved into yet? Why do things like this happen? How do you console them? The one good thing that most victims will say is "We at least have our lives". The best thing a helper can do besides pick up debris and possessions is to be a listening ear or give a hug and pray of course.
This time these devastating tornado's not only were not as powerful blowing debris 80 miles away, but in our area there were no tornado related deaths. Hallelujah for that! A few injured went to area hospital ER's for treatment but all in all most got away without injuries in this one. But still, there is that issue with the home being destroyed yet again. It almost makes you afraid to try build it for the third time. How do you get peace and contentment at times like these? As I looked at the same exact area that I had walked in less than 11 months ago I was shocked and had no explanation. Can you imagine the homeowners feelings?
"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away" it says in Job 1:21. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
At a time like this you really have to hang on to your faith and not run from it and be mad. In one home I helped in, there was the Bible on a table, several Christian books and multiple copies of laminated Ten Commandments. The woman was in fairly good spirits as we carried what remained out to haul away to storage.
First know that our possessions are not what make us. Next remember that there are no U Haul trucks going to the cemetery with your possessions to send to eternity with you. It is God who gives us our blessings and we are to be good stewards of them. In 1 Timothy 6:8 it tells us "But having food and clothing, we will be content with that." We think all the other things will make us happy but do they really? 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." Well in a tornado that could be literal but in this sense it means that money is fleeting and in the big scheme of things not what life is about. In the movie 'It's a Wonderful Life', Jimmy Stewarts' character, George Bailey, after attempting suicide because of financial problems, was saved by his angel Clarence Oddbody 2nd Class. George Bailey says to Clarence when he finds out he was sent here to help him "I know one way you can help me. You don't happen to have 8,000 bucks on you?" Clarence replies "No, we don't use money in Heaven" wherein George responds " Well, it comes in real handy down here, bud!"
Proverbs 27:24 says "for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations." 1 Timothy 6:17 tells us "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." We never know when we will lose it all. Having your life is what counts in the end. Psalm 52:7 says " Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!"
It boils down to this. Do not trust in your possessions or your wealth as they could be gone in an instant. Let God guide you and show you His perfect peace in the midst of a storm.
Matthew 10:29 says "What is the price of two sparrows--one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it." Just know the Lord is watching over you and you only need to trust Him. You are more important than the sparrows.
PRAYER: Lord help me to not trust in my home, my car, my bank account, or my possessions but you are my source of joy. Help me not be so dependent on things that if they all went away I could not have joy. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Click on link for worship in song: