One year ago (and a few days), I posted about a vicious storm that ripped through my area. I showed the pictures of the devastion just one-quarter mile from my home. I spoke of the faith and generosity of the people in this area that jumped to help one another. What an amazing and terrifying time!
Now, it is one year later. New homes sit where the old ones had been wiped away. Storm shelters are inside or outside most of the new houses. The trees are green and so is the grass. A new oil rig sits whirring every hour of the day (much to the annoyance of the neighbors--me included!) It seems as though healing has begun....
And it has, but...
There are scars. Lots of 'em.
There are the trees that will never have leaves again. There are the expanses of land that still have no grass--just a fine covering of topsoil where the grass was sucked from the ground. There are the giant balls of twisted metal that no one has had time to remove from the pastures.
Then, there are the people. Some were injured physically during the storm, but they all have a mental battle to fight.
Storms don't stop in Oklahoma. Just last week, while at the ball game, my kids and I had to race to the van and drive the opposite way of the house just to avoid a hail storm. When you've weathered a tornado, you might think you wouldn't be afraid any more, but it doesn't quite work that way.
Anytime someone faces a major battle in life, there are scars. It doesn't matter if it is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, God gives a reminder--a memorial, so to speak--of the battle that was fought. In Joshua chapter 4, God has the Israelites make a memorial of stones in the place where they crossed into the Promised Land. God gives us these scars as a reminder of the work He has done in our lives. Some reminders everyone can see, like the place where the metal has sliced open a man's head. Some reminders no one can see, like the memory of that loved one that was ripped from your arms by the twirling wind.
Some scars never change, but most begin to fade with the passing of time.
As I drive by the properties affected by last year's storm, I pray that God will let me use the scars in my life as a memorial for all the work He has done in the last year. So many things, so many lessons, so many reasons to praise Him for His faithfulness. In every situation, His hand was upon me. I pray for the families who deal daily with the scars from this particular storm, and I pray for those whose scars cannot be seen. "Treat everyone you meet with the love of Christ for you do not know the battle they are fighting." seems so appropriate when I'm reminded of the grace and mercy that people have shown me during my battles this year.
Do you have scars? Visible? Invisible? I pray that you will not see them as a reminder of all that is bad that you experienced in life, but as a reminder of the ways that God has worked in your life.