The hurricane that ripped up an entire island, leaving death and ruin in its wake will be felt for years to come and, for some, the sadness and pain will forever hold painful reminders of that day.
It’s difficult to prepare for large scale loss, waiting for the worst. You don’t know until it happens how bad it will be. And sometimes heeding suggested recommendations for survival aren’t enough. There is nowhere to go.
With this storm, there was a warning. Predictions by the weather forecasters called it massive and powerful.
When earthquakes hit as they have at times in California, they just come, rumbling, swaying. What do you do? There is no meteorologist tracking its arrival. Boom! It hits. And sometimes, as quickly as it comes, it goes with very little damage; at other times with destruction and death.
The storms of life are like that too. Sometimes you can see trouble brewing.
You anticipate from past experience what’s going to happen. You prepare by making sure you have what you need to ride it out; or get out. You know how to handle what’s coming.
But other times you’re blindsided. Going along your busy life, bam it hits, you get cheated on or betrayed, lied about, bullied, or abused. You lose jobs, homes, health, and your dignity at times. And sometimes you lose loved ones.
And isn’t that how the storms of life come in sometimes, fast and furious?
On September 11, we remember a storm of evil we never saw coming—the unimaginable. In the midst of the incomprehensible tragedy, this country faced the beast and came together to rise above the literal ashes of one of the worst days in history.
America was never the same again. She was changed forever. And like the storms that come at you in life, as you go through the reality and pain of each situation, you are changed.
I remember a professor saying, “We are all a phone call away from tragedy.”
Sometimes you’re prepared and other times you will be caught off guard. The call that came one October night in 2004 was expected. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to my dad, but the reality was he would soon be gone, and all of us would rally together, changed forever.
When the storms come, and they will, remember, you don’t have to go through these times alone. Reach out to God, reach out to others, and as the storm passes, remember you will rise above the ashes, healed and whole.
He gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, peace for despair. (Isaiah 61:3)