Friday, October 7, 2011

Joplin: Nothing left but the foundation


On our way home this week after visiting family and the balloon festival in Albuquerque we stopped in Joplin again to view the tornado damage.
Although some businesses are being rebuilt and a few houses are in various stages of construction, concrete foundations and floor slabs are all that remain for the most part because of the storm that blew away about one-third of the city. I took a few photos of damaged buildings and piles of debris that once were schools, churches, adult education centers, dental and medical offices and St. John’s hospital.
One basement with a tarp over it appeared as if someone could be living in it.
Seeing all the foundations reminded me of scriptures that tell us to build a sure foundation on the Rock Christ Jesus, but I always pictured a home with a few shutters loose and flapping in the wind, maybe a few broken windows, shingles torn away—but most of the house remaining.
In Joplin I realized sometimes storms might take all of our hopes and dreams away but our foundation.
Anyone who becomes a writer finds himself frequently in the winds of adversity that threaten to rip away at his calling. I’ve quit mentally off and on over decades, but then something new would burn in my heart. I wrote again, often publication resulted, and I am still writing into retirement.
Several times I’ve taken time out over the years to work on my faith and through rewriting rebuild something previously worthless, or to add strengthening beams of learning.
No matter what our goals and dreams are, it helps to know God intimately and to accept His Son as Savior. God is three persons, which includes the Holy Spirit who empowers us and works in our lives. God helps us stand secure, no matter what the circumstances. It is such a privilege to know our Creator watches over us. He notices every sparrow that falls and He sees our needs before we even ask for help.
We can do all things through Him who strengthens us, and there is hope in every situation--even death, because "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Yet as we live on earth and work in His kingdom, we know if He called us, he will complete the work He began in us. Look it up. It's there in Philippians 1:6.
Another scripture says even if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved (our bodies), we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1-3).
That, is hope!