Sunday, March 27, 2011

After the Storm

I grew up in Iowa where the threat of tornadoes in the spring and summer seemed

terrifying. Even though a twister never touched down in our small town while I lived there, the reality of a disaster wasn't simply paranoia. Most residents of Grinnell, Iowa knew that a tornado had nearly destroyed the town in the late 1800s. I remember running for the basement on more than one occasion and having nightmares that I couldn't get there in time, that my rubbery legs wouldn't be strong enough to carry me. Knowing that my mom kept watch on nights when tornado warnings had been issued brought some relief to my fears.

If that wasn't enough, we experienced the anxiety of a potential nuclear disaster with the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960s. As a 4th grader, I didn't understand the gravity of the situation, but hearing talk about bomb shelters and practicing air raid drills where we crawled under our desks at school, gave me cause for alarm. I recall a tense three or four days with a verbal showdown between President Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev. Still, I felt some reassurance knowing the grownups were handling the situation.

In the aftermath of the horrific disaster in Japan and the escalating crises in the Middle East, I have felt like that frightened 10-year old. Now I'm the grown-up..and frankly, there isn't any solace in looking to others to work everything out.

The other day, a comment on a blog about the potential of another economic collapse said, Everything will be all right. It always is. The sun will come up tomorrow. Whether or not there will be an economic collapse isn't the point. Saying that everything will be all right is misguided and naive. It isn't all right for thousands of people who have lost jobs and homes. It isn't all right for survivors of the devastation in Japan, even though the sun is still rising. Frightening, tragic events do happen.

At times like this, I know the antidote for fear is growing deeper in my faith. The crux of my Christian faith is belief that even if bad, perplexing events happen in life, events that literally shake my whole belief system, God is still faithful. I've found comfort, as always, in God's Word.

Romans 8 asks the important questions:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In these days of uncertainty, I pray we will draw closer to the One who never changes--and find comfort and peace in His presence. And in that sense, everything is all right.

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