I’ve also been thinking about storms that bring physical destruction, tornadoes specifically. You see, this past Wednesday night, my friend Ben Rouse and his family of six lost their house to the tornado that passed through Virginia. Thankfully, they were on their way to church when the destruction took place, and all of the family is well. The picture to the right is what remained of their house after the twister.
I said earlier that storms can bless us, and one of the greatest blessings that come with storms is clarity. When life is hardest or when your losses seem greatest, you are given the opportunity to sharpen your perspective on life. What matters? What is trivial? Where do you find your purpose? What defines you as a person?
As Ben and his family started accounting for things lost or irreparable, they couldn’t help but be saddened by their children’s toys and mementos that are forever gone. Having been told what had happened to their house, Ben’s children wanted to see for themselves. So he finally relented and showed them a picture. Ben’s mother Viki described their response like this on Facebook:
“When Ben finally showed the boys the pix of the destroyed house that they had been begging to see, they both responded with great delight, ‘Look, Dad, there's my bouncy ball!’ They saw what DID survive instead of focusing on what didn't.”
The children saw what DID survive, not what didn’t. Storms can remove and destroy much. They can also show you what matters most in the remains. My life’s storms have consistently shown me I only have three things that matter – my Faith, my Family & my Friends.
I don’t know what storms you have faced in the past, are facing right now, or what storms wait for you in the future. What I do know is that God is greater than any storm. He can use a storm to bless you, if you will allow it. He can show you what matters, if you let Him. And even if you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you don’t have to fear any storm, because you know God will see you through it (Psalm 23:4).
Thank you, Rouse family, for allowing me to use and share your testimony. Thank you, Challenge Youth Conference, for an uplifting weekend. Thank you for reading. Let God use your storms to bless you and to be a blessing to others.