Last week a very huge tornado hit the town that I grew up in—Joplin, Missouri. My parents still live there and our two married sons live there. I have numerous high school friends and a cousin that live there. So I was very concerned when I got a text message from my daughter-in-law, saying, “We’re having a tornado. Please pray!!” Of course, I stopped what I was doing and prayed. I prayed between everything I was doing for the next hour. I have prayed repeatedly since then in the aftermath of all that happened and the lives, homes, and businesses that have been destroyed.
One thing that really bothered me about my kids and grandkids, was feeling like the house where they were holed up in the bathroom, was not a safe, sturdy house to be in in a tornado! It turns out that the tornado went south of them. Their house was safe by a mile. But the thing I now realize is that there was no house built sturdy enough to stand in the face of 200 mph tornado winds! There is no business or store or hospital built sturdy enough to stand in the face of 200 mph tornado winds!
No matter how fancy, expensive, nice, or pretty; no matter how dilapidated, trashy, broken, or misused; no matter how heavy, grounded, well-built, solid, or sturdy—those buildings are all gone, or will be soon, when the fragments that remain are pushed over by the coming bulldozers.
What about all the nice, expensive, comfortable cars in all the parking lots in the path of the storm? What about the powerful semi trucks parked or driving in the storm? They all look like crumpled soda pop cans your brother squeezed to show you how strong he is.
There is no where that you are safe! This is what my son told me after working his 4th day of Search and Rescue. This tornado changed every secure feeling he ever had about his car or his house or Wal-mart or the hospital. There is no security in wood, shingles, concrete or blocks and certainly not in glass! Did you know plywood can go through concrete? It can. I saw plenty of evidence of that in pictures this week.
So should we all live in fear?
If we have peace with God, we can live without fear. Perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18). God is secure. Salvation is safety. The Bible stands. Jesus never changes or fails. These are the things we can hold onto no matter what kind of storm is brewing.
Psalm 139:16 tells us, “In Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” God knows already how long our lives are, which day will be our last, so why should we worry? He is not going to let anything take our life until He is ready. The things we should concern ourselves with are: Am I right with God? Am I accomplishing the things I should in the days He gives me? Am I being a witness to others around me who also are facing a deadline when their lives will end?