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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
"Truths from a Tornado"
"A wise man will hear, and increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels." Proverbs 1:5
After the devastation of this last week, as residents of Hattiesburg we are counting our blessings. Our hearts and prayers are with those who lost their houses and suffered personal injuries, but we rejoice that there has been no loss of life. With a 3/4 of a mile-wide EF4 tornado on the ground for 90 miles, the fact that no one perished is incredible. I was reminded of several truths in the aftermath of Sunday’s storm:
1. You never know what a day may bring forth. As we got out of bed and prepared for a wonderful Lord’s Day, we had no idea that our lives would change that day. Many got up and showered and dressed, ate breakfast, and spent time around a house that is no longer there! Beautiful neighborhoods were turned into debris fields, and houses were gutted in a moment. “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1
2. It only takes a minute to destroy. As I left town on Tuesday morning, I passed the USM campus. It shocked me to see how much destruction took place in that minute and a half that the tornado passed through there. What I noticed immediately was the loss of those mighty live oak trees. With their massive spreading branches, those trees have guarded the boundaries of that beautiful campus for many years, and in a blink of an eye, they are gone. I’m reminded that what may take a lifetime to build or grow can be destroyed in a moment. Remember that, when it comes to your testimony or your family.
3. We must keep a proper perspective. When I received word that the Hodge/Morris’ house was destroyed, and that Bro. Hill had to rush home, I immediately became concerned about those families. Not once did we ask how their couches, refrigerators, televisions or cars were. We were only concerned with those people we love. Perspective often gets lost in life. We find ourselves spending what we don’t have, to buy what we don’t need, to impress those we don’t like! We put our focus on the things we are working for, and forget to be kind, patient and loving to the people we live with. “See that you love one another with a pure heart fervently.” I Peter 1:22 This Valentine’s Day comes at the right time. Let’s rekindle our love for each other, and refocus our perspective on what is truly important.
We rejoice with those who suffered no losses, and we weep with those who did. We will pitch in to help others rebuild their houses and pick up the pieces, but we must not lose sight of the lessons we have learned.