An initial, embittered response to disaster and necessary abandonment, for this Weekly Photo Challenge. Given time, abandoning bitterness can yield more profound opportunities for growth and enlightenment.
During the height of destruction, it’s easy to imagine that God has forsaken us, that nothing but evil has befallen us. How often have we mistaken a blessing for a curse? Or vice versa?
Here, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, we had more questions than answers, and way more assumptions than facts. The author of this boarded up window laments, “Thanks, Katrina, for nothing.”
Indeed, those of us who survived were left in Ground Zero to make sense of the universe, surrounded by nothing that made any sense to any one of our senses.
Nothing looked the same, sounded the same, felt the same. Even the military meals dropped in by helicopter sure didn’t taste the same as the local cuisine to which we are accustomed.
But somehow, by God’s grace and a little Cayenne pepper, we got through. God granted sun the next day to shine down on the war zone so we had light to free ourselves from under the rubble. He granted us fellowship so we could reorganize ourselves, honor the loss of our loved ones and rally together to clean up and rebuild.
He gave us determination and energy to right the wrongs and gave us vision to give us hope to move forward.
God helped us to redefine our sense of humanity and our purpose in the bigger picture, which is created by the little things we do daily that make a difference.
Strength came out of vulnerability. Purity and clarity out of filthy mayhem. There is nothing like a fierce storm to dislodge us from settling for status quo!
And then God brought healing and renewal – new rainbows with vivid colors, more brilliant than before!
Nothing was the same, and while we grieved that and those which were lost, we also celebrated that which was gained – things that had not been evident or possible before the terrible storm.
Ultimately, instead of “thanks for nothing,” we found ourselves giving thanks for EVERYTHING – for more than we’d ever envisioned.
And God saw that it was good.
He promised He would never leave us nor forsake us. Indeed, God never abandons us, and we are never abandoned – we are only in various stages of the process of achieving greater things which bring us closer to Him.
Dear God, thank You for understanding our fears and doubts as we encounter life’s greatest storms. Thank You for never abandoning us even when it feels like we are traipsing through the wilderness in darkness and uncertainty.
We trust You in that You have never let us down. Please forgive us when we don’t remember. We know You love us. And with each new miracle, where You steer us through yet another storm, we seem to love You a little bit more. Yet how quickly we forget when facing new stress and duress!
We are so grateful for your greater plans which are so much bigger than we could ever envision from our limited perspectives. We thank You for the light that shines brightly the next day, bringing light from darkness and hope from despair.
Thanks, God, for never abandoning us and for always being there.