Last night was a horrible night for those of us who live in Alabama. We had ‘storms of epic proportions’ which caused numerous tornadoes throughout the state. This massive storm started in Mississippi, the went through AL, GA, SC, and NC. Most of the worst of it was in the northern part of the state. We live in the SE corner. All we got here was strong thunderstorms.
I knew bad weather was coming, but not just how bad. I happened to have the TV on the 5:00 news, and the reporters got all excited and started telling us that this massive black blob covering most of the screen was actually a massive tornado over 1/2 mile wide as it was destroying a big part of the city of Tuscaloosa. Many students live here to attend The University of Alabama. The weather cameras they have stationed over the state happened to catch it as it was happening. My heart was pounding as I watched on TV, and I found myself thinking of all the kids I knew who went to school there.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged.
For the Lord your God goes with you.” Joshua 1:9
There was also another tornado hitting in Birmingham, where my youngest lives. And, terrible damage had already been done there from an earlier tornado. And, we know quite a few friends and family who live there, so there was great concern there also.
“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” Psalm 36:5
At present, there are over 200 deaths, and in Tuscaloosa, they believe there are more to still be rescued under rubble or worse.
Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host,
the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein,
and thou preservest them all;
and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.” Nehemiah 9:6
What is there to say in time like these? “I’m sorry” just isn’t enough. “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help” is even worse. I think it isn’t what you SAY at all, but what you DO. So many have lost it all….houses, clothes, pictures, books, special mementos, cars, even jobs. There is plenty to DO…but really, it is so hard to say any words that covers this tragedy. There are times when a hug says all that is needed.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion
and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can
comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God”
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
But, not really. I read a comment on a website today under some pics of the tornado damage. It was like a slap in the face to me. It said, “Where is your god now? If he is so ‘good’,why does he send tornadoes to do such damage? They were innocent people.” I would like to have answered this person. What would you have said to them? I would have to take a minute to control my temper because when people say things like that, it really pushes my buttons.
“I will tell you where He was. He was in the wind, and He was in the tornado. He was in the swirling clouds that were so very powerful. He made the winds. They are His. He was in the bathroom where a gas station worker took cover. He is thanking God today. He was in the huge refrigerator in an empty grocery store where a wife found refuge. Her husband didn’t make it, he dove under a table. God was with him there. Their trailer and everything in it is nowhere to be found. God knows where it is. And, He will be with this husband and wife as they search for a new place to live.
“God is with you in everything you do.” Genesis 21:22
He was with the students who panicked when they knew the tornado was imminent. He followed them to their bathtub where they waited it out by praying. They lived to pray again. He was with the grandfather who gathered his 5 small grandchildren into the small frame house and covered them with his body. Even as the house and all its contents were blown away, the family was untouched. And, He was buried under rubble of bricks with a tiny baby, still in his crib. He stayed with the child until he was rescued.
He was in all 5 states as the tornadoes wreaked havoc. Over 300 died in total, with 3/4 in AL. I hear on the news this morning that this storm is the worst of its kind in recorded history.
And, He will be with those who mourn the dead. He will be with those who look at all they have accomplished in life reduced to a pile of sticks. Perhaps they will realize that the accomplishments that can’t be seen are still there and available. He will guide.
The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his UNFAILING LOVE
, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in HOPE for the Lord;
HE IS HELP AND OUR SHEILD. In him our hearts rejoice, for we TRUST in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
even as WE PUT OUR HOPE IN YOU!
We serve an awesome God!
Oh, my Dear! I'm so sorry for all that has happened, and so glad to hear that no one that you love was in the midst of that powerful storm. We've heard from our niece in Tuscaloosa, and finally from my dear cousin in Birmingham, and all of them escaped injury.
Thank you for this inspiring message.
Tonja, you should be a preacher. You have truly stirred up my faith.
The devastation is heartbreaking, but our God is there….and he's here. He's good all the time and merciful.
I wish all the people whose lives were affected by the storms could read this, Tonja … and also people like the one who wrote that comment on the website. I'm sure there are countless "How Great Thou Art" stories being told all along the storm's path.
Thank you for sharing these stories and your faith in this beautiful and eloquent post.
Well written Tonja. Keeping everyone in my prayers.