|Our swaggerless van that caught on fire.|
We had the van for less than a week. I hadn't even driven it yet. In these days of ever increasing gas prices, we'd traded our gas guzzler in for a more efficient van with swagger hoping to save a few dollars in our budget. Now the van and our plans are gone. Just like that. Fortunately my husband was all right.
Sometimes things change so quickly. We think things are one way only to find in a split second they've changed. Sometimes the devastation brings about good change, like when God allowed a crisis in our lives to force us to get the help we needed. Other times it's harder to see the good that comes out of split second life changing moments.
It makes me think about Japan and the recent devastation there. As I was looking at photos of the destruction caused by the tsunami and the total devastation, it struck me that pictures do such an injustice to the magnitude of the situation. They only show a snapshot. Behind the snapshot is humanity. One photo in particular caught my eye. It showed a woman sitting on the ground, surrounded by heaps and heaps of rubble, crying. What must it be like to one day be living life as you've always known it, then the next day to be surrounded by heaps and heaps of rubble? Where are her loved ones? Where are her possessions that she once treasured? Are they among the heaps surrounding her? No wonder she's bawling.
|Devestation in Japan. - source: CNN via Reuters|
|Devestation in New Orleans|
|Devestation in Manhattan.|
And then I thought of the images of 9/11. The unspeakable horror of realizing terror of that magnitude was purposefully carried out by people and not forces of nature. Lives lost and lives changed forever. In an unchangeable instant.
As I was considering how life can change so quickly, the story of the seven children in Pennsylvania who died in their home drew me in. The mother was out milking cows, the father was out delivering milk. How suddenly their life has changed.
Things change in an instant. How well the people in Japan know that right now. One day concerned about planning a birthday party, perhaps. The next day concerned about survival.
Suddenly unemployed. Suddenly fighting a terminal illness. Suddenly dealing with bullies. Suddenly a young widow. As much as we'd like to think it, we're not in control. Things happen that are beyond our control. If we know the One who is in control, the One who can turn bad situations into opportunities for good, then we need not be anxious about anything - even sudden devestation.
But we do need to trust Him. That's as hard as admitting we're not in control.
|We're like a mist - here for only a little while.|
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:13-17