Sounds of generators and chainsaws filled the air the morning after Hurricane Michael swept through the Florida panhandle. In the hours awaiting the storm, I thought to myself: “Not even Christmas—only the weather—can close the stores and clear the streets and have everyone hunkered down with family.
What events cause you to slow down and take stock of what’s important? It’s the sixth hurricane that I’ve been through, so I anticipated what to expect; the house would creak and groan, and the windows and doors would whistle, and afterward, no gasoline, empty grocery stores, and making coffee and meals on the grill. Fortunately, after it was over, we just had a yard full of debris to clean up. Others lost homes and, in some cases, loved ones. My heart goes out to them. One woman in the worst hit area of the hurricane described how she thought she wasn’t going to make it and just broke down and cried and prayed. I wondered if prayer was a new thing to her. The power of nature never ceases to amaze me!
Certain things in life are completely out of our control. We have to just wait out the storm and know that God will help us pick up the pieces when it’s over. I remind myself that God may not protect us from the storms of life, those circumstances beyond our control— the loss of a loved one, lost job, or diagnosed illness—but he will protect us through them.
We may board up windows and sandbag doors, but truly God is our ultimate shelter. Storms like this also remind us how much we need each other. In the aftermath, the most inspiring sight is to see neighbors helping each other—cutting up fallen trees or simply offering a cup of coffee to one who is in search of an open coffee shop.
Special thanks to all the reciprocal utility workers from surrounding states and volunteers that left the comforts of home and family to sacrificially help the less fortunate. Remarkably, all differences of political affiliation, color, or social status become irrelevant when everyone comes together in a unified effort over a greater and more powerful enemy.
As a nation, have we become so convinced of our own version of the truth that we think the enemy is each other? Let’s promote the things that unite us, seek to understand each other’s point of view and agree to disagree if we can’t, but determine to lift up rather than destroy each other because nothing is more precious than human life.
What storms are you facing? Don’t do it alone.