It has been a traumatic week. The raging winds and rains of hurricane Sandy have wreaked havoc in the lives of so many along the East Coast and even inland this time around. Now, days after the storm has finally abated, we witness the devastation left in its path—people who died, pets swept away, homes and even an entire community destroyed, coastlines washed away, cars tossed about like toys, boats smashed into houses and marinas, and businesses in rubble. The images are hard to comprehend. There is so much damage.
Storms remind us that there are forces operating in our lives bigger than we are and that we are often powerless against these forces. How we respond to the storms of life matters. Our response is the only part of a storm we can ultimately control.
The Apostle Paul knew this well and did not give in to panic or worry when the storms of his life hit (imprisonment, torture, etc.). His example challenges us to not lose perspective when times are tough, to trust God and to patiently submit to His ways. Hope is always present. It was God who brought a quiet calm to Paul’s faith in the middle of trials. Paul lived independent of everything, and dependent on God. This is how he could rejoiced in all circumstances. What a challenge for us this week.
After the storm, our dependence on God is evident. Like Job, we gain perspective—we are small, God is large. And the largeness of God is comforting. He holds tomorrow and today in His hands. Nothing happens away from His watchful eye. He sees the devastation and promises to rebuild our lives if we allow Him to do so. The challenge is to not give in to despair, but hope in God, to center our lives on the One who can remake disaster into something new, and to trust that beauty can rise from ashes.
Be encouraged, God is with us. He sees the damage but promises to rebuild! He will make something new out of the rubble.