Beth wrote this last night. It’s posted today at JustOneMore.info as well. Powerful words. Raw emotion. I love my wife.
When I went to sleep last night, I had no idea that today would be the day that my eyes would be this enlightened and my heart so burdened. You see, this morning my phone starting blowing up at 5:00am with people checking on me. My family was fine, our house was fine, we had no idea what had taken place the hours prior to that call.
I really did not realize how bad everything was until I started trying to call people without any answers. I became concerned, and then I received a call that dear friends of mine had lost everything. They were very scratched up from their house caving in on them in the basement and trying to climb out. As soon as my children were dropped off at school, I headed to their neighborhood in Trussville to lend an extra hand, pray for them, and drive them wherever they might need to go.
I had a lot of difficulty getting to my friends, ended up leaving my car on the side of the road, riding with them a little ways, then walking toward their home. We searched for a purse and phones and finally decided to take my friend to a doctor to check her back. I drove her to the doctor, to Wendy’s for a burger, to a friend’s home to get some clothes, to Target for shoes and sunglasses, and to AT&T for a cell phone.
I didn’t realize how lost you are without a phone—no real contact with anyone to let them know you are alive or you need help. Then, we once again went to the rubble and tried to pull stuff out. We were finding mismatch shoes, some books, some pictures, a spoon, a necklace, an earring, and in between we would tell a joke or two to just try to keep from losing all emotions.
I had no words a lot of the time, which is very unlike me. I knew that I had to just pray for those I did not know where hurting, were searching through rubble, whom no longer had a home. See, around 2:00 this afternoon, I learned another couple from our church that I have grown to love so much had lost everything. They have an infant son as well. So with each item, I was lost in emotion, sadness, and awe.
Then, driving home, God reminded me of his amazing strength that is bigger than any tornado. His love is bigger than any strong wind that may come our way. His sovereignty and grace is above all human power or emotion. Our God is GREAT! And in His greatness there is a time for everything under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 (ESV) says:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. 14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.
16 Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. 18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?
We will never know what God plans from beginning to end, nor should we try to know.
But this I know for sure:
There is a time for the house to break down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep what is lost, and to laugh at what is found.
A time to mourn what has happened, and to dance at what is to come.
A time to seek, and a time to just say it’s gone.
A time to keep, and a time to just give away.
A time to speak and a time to be silent with a loss for words.
A time to tear down, and a time to sew the new.
A time to love those around you and to seek peace.
We don’t know the mind of Christ, or any need to understand what has happened. But we must be joyful in the lives spared and do good as long as we live.
It is time to do good, to help those rebuild, and take pleasure in the toil that God has sat before us. God has given us a tornado as an opportunity to show those around us how much we love them with the love of Christ. And no job is too little or too much!
Work for the Lord. “There is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work,” we know not what is after us or when you will need the help.
Thank you for being God. Thank you for sparing lives and homes. Thank you for allowing us to help those who need us to help search through rubble, drive to the store, provide water, and provide shelter, socks, and underwear. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to be busy serving your people and loving people with the love of Christ. I am so thankful for the day I spent with my dear friends and I pray that you will allow them the strength to endure this storm with you as their guide and friends at their service. I will never understand your ways, but am glad I was able to be a vessel of service today. I am so thankful for your immeasurable love for me and blessings you give my immediate family, my church family, and close friends. I love you!