Hope Out of Ruin
By Cathy Irvin
- Devastation, chaos—the world as you know it suddenly
is turned upside down. That is what happened to those hit by Hurricane
Katrina. Everything they worked for, their life savings, and their
homes all destroyed. A city lay in ruins. We cannot imagine the
emotional turmoil, the fear, and the anger. And the floodwaters
Can they survive the loss of land and home? Yes, in time they
can rebuild. What matters most now is their spirits that have
been crushed; some have lost family, which is far more devastating
than the material loss they have suffered.
Prayer and a helping hand from all the world is what they need,
to know that God loves them and cares for the “what happens
next?” question in their hearts that only He can answer.
The Lord is Jehovah Jireh, their Provider. In the months and
years ahead, His hand of provision will supply all their natural,
emotional, and spiritual needs, but it is now that they need the
Hope for tomorrow when all they see is today and what they have
It is not easy to look toward a future when your heart is filled
with pain. You can’t see ahead. We can only imagine how
they must feel! How about numb in the aftermath of such a disaster?
Those of us who have weathered smaller-scale storms are awe-stricken
at how blessed we truly are at this moment. Isn’t it time
to look to the needs of others? We must get our eyes off ourselves
and do what we can.
Are you a friend of God? Then you are to love those and befriend
those who are less fortunate than you. If you come across someone
who needs food and clothing but you do nothing to help them and
instead simply say 'God bless you' and pat them on the back, what
good does that do? (see James 2:14-16).
This is when you can give away the Christianity you talk about
so that others can see it. We can pray, and of course they have
our prayers, but let’s put action to them. We rallied together
for the tsunami victims overseas; now it has hit our shores. It
is time to be a good neighbor and show them a hope and a future
that the Lord promises to them. We are God’s messengers,
bearers of Good News. Now is the opportunity to show the love
of God that is shed abroad in our hearts. It may mean reaching
into our resources or giving sacrificially, but God will reward
May they receive hope in the midst of the ruins!
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother
in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in
him (1 John 3:17, NIV)?
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore
I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward
the poor and needy in your land (Deuteronomy 15:11, NIV).
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