There is a lot of life that we cannot control.
I’ve never seen such devastation as caused by Hurricane Ian in SW FL. The deadliest hurricane in nearly a century uprooted huge deciduous trees, wrapped metal roof tops around crooked power poles, and hurled debris across its 100 mile span.
During the storm, my mom sat alone in the dark, braced against the howling wind as the windows rattled and her home shook for 18 hours. When Ian finally FINALLY moved beyond her, there was no water, no power, and no cell service. 2.5 million people’s homes were dark and quiet.
There is a lot of life that we cannot control. We can’t control who our family is or what choices our kids make or guarantee the security of our job. We can’t control when our car breaks down, or if a hurricane will blow up our lives.
What we can control.
What we can control is how we respond to shifts and challenges. When the rain and wind and water finally yielded to blue skies, people emerged from the rubble and started cleaning up. Neighbors helped neighbors clear the chaos. Those who had charcoal grills cooked the defrosting food. Generators hummed when gasoline could be obtained. If anyone had ice, they shared the rare commodity in red solo cups and toasted being alive.
The way through.
How do you endure a season you never asked for or wanted? One way to reset it to be thankful.
Everyone in the neighborhood was so grateful to be alive and thankful for any remnant of personal property was spared. Thankful when the lights came on, thankful when the phones started working again.
On my way down to FL to be with my mom, the highways were clogged with caravans of police cars, fire trucks and first responders. There were more trucks carrying lumber, shingles, tarps, water, and gasoline than I could count. Utility trucks carrying cable, cranes and workers from every state east of the Mississippi poured into the area to restore order.
Within days, churches and the Red Cross and ministries I’ve never heard of rolled through neighborhoods offering water, hot meals and blankets and we were very thankful to be done with peanut butter on crackers and raisins.
Find something to be thankful for.
Remember, whatever you’re facing could be worse. Be thankful it’s not. Look for the silver lining and watch God turn every wretched thing into something good. (Romans 8:28) Thank God for what he’s going to do and the people he’ll use to do it.
I have never been so happy to live in America. I’m so thankful for all the people who offered assistance and prayer support.
Not my way, Lord.
Friend, I wish there was a magic formula to coax God into doing what I want and giving me what I want, but, there’s not.
What I’ve discovered these last 3 weeks is God uses inconveniences, calamities and even a hurricane to show me I can lean on him, trust him and flourish in my faith.
What have you learned about trusting God in seasons you hated? Leave a comment below with the lesson you learned or the way you survived a cruddy season of life.
Verse for today: I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. -Psalm 86:12 ESV
Prayer: Lord, sometimes this life is so hard, I want to curl up and suck my thumb. God, give me the assurance of your Presence. Work this out for good and help me be thankful that you are with me. In Jesus’ Name amen.