Smack-dab in the middle of the Corona virus pandemic, an EF-3 tornado dropped on April 12, 2020 in the East Brainerd area of Chattanooga, Tennessee, fueled by 145 mph winds.
I didn’t realize the magnitude of the storm until I walked with my wife through her parents neighborhood the following day.
Electrical cables blown asunder. Houses looked like they were cut in half. Poles that carried the wiring were thrown in the air like a baseball. The remaining parts of poles hung in the balance resting above our heads on thin existing cables as we walked under them. Massive trees blocked streets. Who could survive this?
Thankfully, some people did survive like my in-laws. But some folks didn’t, like the people who also didn’t make it through the Coronavirus.
Someone posted on Facebook that the most useless thing a person can own in 2020 is a calendar.
Who plans for disasters? But we can choose how we respond. The late Frederick Buechner wrote, “Like the princess in the fairy tale, we take the straw we are given and thatch the roof with it to keep the weather out, but we do not do what we might do, which is to spin it into gold.” (Secrets in the Dark)
I’ve heard people say, “God is getting this country’s attention!” How can you ignore both an unprecedented virus and a ruthless tornado? Yes, there have always been storms and plagues. Do we chalk it up as another freak thing of nature and science?
Either God is allowing things to happen in order to cause us to really look at our lives or man is just along for the ride in an automobile called chance with the belief mankind can fix any problem.
I choose the former conclusion. There is another tree that is coming down. “Then Jesus told this story: A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve wasted three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden. The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’ ” (Luke 13: 6-9, NLT)
Jesus was referring to the nation of Israel. If they didn’t produce the fruit of repentance then judgment was coming. Israel was given the opportunity to turn around, just like us.
Restoration after a storm takes a long time. After David’s sins of adultery and having a man murdered, he wrote, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.” (Psalm 51:12, NLT)
Time always runs out on sin. How much time do we have to get our spiritual houses in order—before the storm comes? Revive us oh Lord.