A weekend journey to America’s heartland serves to remind me of how the storms of life can be utterly devastating.
It’s hard to believe it’s been sixteen years since Oklahoma City experienced violence firsthand by a fellow American.
168 lives lost.
And less than thirty miles away, the small community of Piedmont, Oklahoma, experienced tragedy when a tornado ripped through their community on May 24. One family lost two sons in the storm, a three year old and fifteen-month old.
As our group of youth and adults traveled to Piedmont to help with the recovery effort, we were reduced to silence and intermittent gasps of amazement as we saw the destruction firsthand. A whole neighborhood…gone.
When all you have left in this world is unceremoniously piled in a heap and your home has to be identified by a spray painted sign.
When you wonder why.
When at the end of it all remains our Father. The Father who sees our brokenness, whose Son was broken on our behalf, and says to us “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NLT).
And yet, life continues to prevail. Terrorism, death, and the storms of life do not have the final word.
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 NASB).
We are a broken people, constantly in need of a Savior whose perfect will for our lives often does not make sense. We do not see the big picture, only disjointed pieces that sometimes only point to heartache and unexplainable tragedy this side of eternity.
And while there is no guarantee of tomorrow, we have been given today, so let’s live. Not being slaves to fear. Living. Joyfully, with the anticipation of eternity that He has placed in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11).