Devastation

by Sandra Allen Lovelace       @SandraALovelace       #TimetobeYOU!

Kristi’s head was spinning, and her heart was barely beating. So much devastation. The wildfires weren’t satisfied to reduce her home to a pile of ashes, she and her husband had to evacuate so fast that little beyond the clothes on their backs remained. Pete hadn’t been able to coax her cats from their perch so they were gone too. The young couple clung to each other and sobbed.

Days later, the sun began to peek through the clouds of rolling smoke, but there was no light for Kristi or Pete. Conversations about how, and why, and what now ended without answers. Red Cross workers tended those still in the high school gymnasium, and hope waned as pressure to find a place to go grew. By the end of the week, they’d be pet-less and shelter-less.

Perhaps the wildfires that burned through your life didn’t sport flames when they obliterated everything you cherished. Yet, just like Pete and Kristi, you have no idea how it happened or how you could have changed the outcome. Or maybe you struggle with the why in the hope you can avoid a repeat performance. And your most pressing dilemma is what’s next.

Welcome to the club.

All of us have faced that kind of overwhelming experience at one time or another. Flare ups of frenzied rage alternate with feeling numb to keep us off balance and unable to function. In our best moments, we hope we might please God with a faith-filled response. For the most part, we wallow in despair, convinced our efforts are pointless.

If you’ve been there and haven’t been able to sort it out or if you’re there now and need to, a few lines from Job will help solve the dilemma. Remember that Job went through his own traumatic inferno and managed to maintain a God-pleasing stance. Even when he recounted the details of his trials, he was able to keep from sinning.

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Job 1:21-22, NIV

His confirmation of God’s rightful authority over his life might have been relatively easy when he was at the beginning of his plight. His agony wore on and he was in intense physical misery when three friends showed up and poured false accusations over him. Yet, he continued to declare his loyalty to his LORD.

I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Job 19:25-27, NIV

The way we stand firm in our faith is to hang on to the Truth of God’s sovereignty, whatever the circumstances. When we do, He’s both pleased and glorified.

Now THAT I can do whether I like, want, or understand what’s going on. How about you?

     Sandra

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