I tear up every time I think about what I saw when driving through my home town this past weekend. My family was right when they told me that the pictures don't do it justice. It's hard to believe that wind can cause so much destruction. My mind has been plagued with worrisome thoughts like:
What would we do if such a storm were coming toward my house?
Where would I hide my kids?
My next house needs to have a better "safe place."
It's also easy for me to start thinking about the technicalities of clean-up:
Where to even begin? Someone needs to organize this thing city-wide.
Seems like FEMA is almost more trouble than its worth.
I wish I could help!
But, after hours of mental turmoil, my mind goes back to the content of a Piper article written after the tsunami of 2004. I think it's pretty fitting for us. May we not miss the lesson in the storm.
Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent. 'Weep with those who weep,' the Bible says. Yes, but let us also weep for our own rebellion against the living God. Lesson one: weep for the dead. Lesson two: weep for yourselves.
Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent. That was Jesus’ stunning statement to those who brought him news of calamity. The tower of Siloam had fallen, and 18 people were crushed. What about this, Jesus? they asked. He answered, “Do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4-5).
The point of every deadly calamity is this: Repent. Let our hearts be broken that God means so little to us. Grieve that he is a whipping boy to be blamed for pain, but not praised for pleasure. Lament that he makes headlines only when man mocks his power, but no headlines for ten thousand days of wrath withheld. Let us rend our hearts that we love life more than we love Jesus Christ. Let us cast ourselves on the mercy of our Maker. He offers it through the death and resurrection of his Son.
This is the point of all pleasure and all pain. Pleasure says: “God is like this, only better; don’t make an idol out of me. I only point to him.” Pain says: “What sin deserves is like this, only worse; don’t take offense at me. I am a merciful warning.”