Articles & Testimonies

After the storm

by | Nov 5, 2012

Reprinted with permission – From The Official Blog of Thomas Mitchinson, Illinois Committee on Publication

The Psalmist recorded, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble….Though the waters thereof roar and are troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof,…God shall help her and that right early….Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted in the earth.  The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge” (see Psalms 46).

Divine help is here, giving all of us the wisdom, courage and strength to rebuild and restore.  There is an intelligence greater than each of us, that enables everyone to know what to do next.  The Biblical writer James wrote, “…the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

That wisdom may come as big ideas, or even little thoughts, but it does come.  Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, wrote, “Step by step will those who trust Him find that ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  Even if it is step by step, each day, and each moment, can be a step of progress.

In times of disaster, it may seem that the effort to rebuild, or even to continue, is too great.  But we all can feel a divine courage during these times also.  It isn’t self-determination.  Instead, it is an inner conviction that God can help.  It is also a faith in the goodness of others.  How inspiring it was to see the electric company crews from the Midwest pile in their trucks and head east willing and eager to help.  That is true courage.

And for everyone working diligently to clean-up and restore homes and businesses, I pray for your strength.  David wrote, “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength” (Ps. 18: 1).  That passage has helped me many times when facing the ravages of the weather.  God’s love brings us strength when we feel we cannot go on, and it helps us continue in our work.

For all of us throughout the country who were not in the path of Hurricane Sandy, we can take the time to pray for those who were.  We can help meet the needs of others financially and voluntarily.  It may be time to find new ways of protecting our homes, shorelines and businesses.  Also, to look again at the impact of warming trends on the earth and its effect on the weather, and find new ways of addressing these problems.

I have been recently reading the book, The Last Lincolns, about the descendants of Abraham Lincoln, and have been giving some thought to these words about the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire:  “The very morning that the flames died out, the first building to rise from the ashes was erected.  It was a tiny shed constructed with wood planks at 59 Union Park Place by a Ukrainian contractor, William Kerfoot.  Announcing to the world that he was open for business, Kerfoot put up this crude, handwritten sign:  ALL GONE BUT WIFE CHILDREN AND ENERGY.”

I think that speaks for us.  We have the energy to clean up, rebuild, redesign and help others to do so.  There’s work for all of us – after the storm.