Is it me, or does anyone else marvel at God in these last days? I am constantly amazed at the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters in the last 5 years. Of course, perspective is everything, and it could be that I’m noticing these more now because they are affecting me personally.
Three years ago and one month after Katrina, we evacuated our area in preparation of Hurricane Rita. Every time we travel that freeway, I still remember, vividly, our testimony: 16 hours to travel 80 miles. Expecting to reach our destination a lot sooner than we did, we ate breakfast and left with little water and almost no non-perishable food. I’ve never tasted a more refreshing soda than those we found halfway on the journey. Our son had a bad cold when we left; by the time we reached our hotel, he had sweated out every ounce of illness. God was so faithful to us then. I remember that my husband, in the effort to save gas, wanted to take his company car and tie our evacuation plans into a business trip. I believe it was divine that his fuel injection system malfunctioned, and we were forced to take our bigger, more comfortable family car. The few gas stations that were open didn’t take his company gas card, and with a failing fuel injector, we would have had to make any number of stops. The families who blessed our family with a home were no less of a blessing; we didn’t experience one day of feeling out of place or out of sorts. Finally, we returned to only a few shingles missing and a leaning tree—now our Rita memorial.
So, what is our Ike testimony? We grew wiser, this time taking plenty of water, snacks and fruit. We left earlier, ahead of the traffic. We grew stronger; even 3 hours northeast, we were in the hurricane’s path, and had to tough out a howling Category 1 wind and 10 hours in a hotel with no electricity. I learned that the kids really do understand the power of prayer. Our second hotel, 3 hours west, made me aware of how very blessed we were as we passed house after house with trees in the roof, on the porch, or touching some electrical line outside. Here we’ve had every amenity to comfort the temporarily homeless—cheap food, ample groceries, and a delightful hotel with a pool and 2 televisions in the room (helps take everyone’s mind off the gravity of the Ike aftermath).
I’ve seen task forces from as far as Puerto Rico. I’ve heard of grocery supply trucks from as far as Los Angeles. I know that there are people without power, without gas, without food, without, without, without. I know that others have lost more than mere comfort, and I pray that many are turning back to Jesus. We are still blessed as all the damage we’ll return to, according to a neighbor, is a knocked down fence. I rejoice that my biggest concern here is how to complete a science experiment in a hotel (smile). The children are accustomed to school on the road–why change now? Besides, they’ll love me this summer when their friends are making up lost days.
Each day, there is a reason to experience God’s grace; each day, we can receive His peace. He is still so very faithful, and I’m thankful that I’m His, and He is mine. Every day.