The Whirlwind

The Whirlwind

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind…”Job 38:1


   Devastating tornados just pummeled my home state of Alabama yesterday. At least 128 persons are confirmed dead in my state alone and several dozen more in sister states. Hundreds of people are injured and thousands of homes and businesses are affected. Many of the homes destroyed were in poorer areas that are least prepared to recover. 

   Please add these persons, places and communities to your prayer list. It will take weeks and months for some of these places to recover. These tornados came only days after dozens of tornados touched down in the south. Some communities, like Tuscaloosa, Alabama, have experienced two tornados only days and a few miles apart. Even members of my own family have been affected.

   Watching the raw power and destruction of these weather events humbles us and shows us just how vulnerable we can be, even in the supposed safety of an urban setting.

   Please see what you can do to assist others. Lift up our emergency personnel, utility workers and guardsmen as they seek to sift through the rubble and restore order.

  Awestruck by the power and the devastation of tornados, I am reminded that the scripture notes how God can speak to us through natural disaster. The book of Job says that God spoke to Job in a whirlwind and in the book of Nahum; it says, ‘God has his way in the whirlwind’.

   I don’t interpret any of this to mean that God sends storms to hurt people. To the contrary, I firmly believe that God loves us and that it was the prayers of the faithful yesterday that most likely spared life and limb. And it will be the grace and power of God that will comfort and assist us as we put our lives back together after these events.

   But like Job, God does speak to us in moments like this. I think he tells us that life is fragile and can change in a split moment; so don’t be so consumed with the events and possessions of this world. I think he reminds us that we need Him and each other more than we would ever admit.

   One mother and her son who lost their home yesterday endured the storm as it ripped their home from around them as they clung to the bathtub and commode. She told the local reporter that they simply prayed: ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus’ as the storm raged around them. They were saved.

   Some of the greatest acts of love and kindness come in the aftermath of a whirlwind. Just as the wind unleashed its destructive powers; tremendous gestures of unsolicited assistance will come today as strangers will lend a hand to help those in need.

   Whirlwind or not, God always has the last word and I know it is a word of hope, love, salvation and restoration. Whether in life, death or destruction: He never let’s go of our hand. So let’s get about cleaning up the debris of the whirlwinds of our lives with renewed faith and confidence that something good will come from life's rubble.