But I also remember seeing those who were less fortunate. Maybe a large tree had fallen across their roof or, if they lived near the harbor, the first floor was ruined by the incoming salt water from the storm surge. And I wondered how I would really feel in their place. Would I be angry like I was when my dad died suddenly? Would I blame it on God and blame Him for allowing such a disaster to happen? I had lots of questions but no answers, but that is healthy, for its the first step to building a relationship with God, a relationship which is so important if we want to take advantage of the opportunities He has given us.
Moving forward to recent times, when I look at the picture here, taken after Hurricane Ike slammed Galveston about nine years ago, I can quickly can understand how all of those property owners must have felt when they were allowed to return. With the exception of that one large cottage that survived, albeit with serious structural problems, in one short night they lost all that they had on that beach including the beach itself. Just like the event in Houston this past week, recovery would take many years, some of which is still incomplete today. But we must remember that we can't blame God because we individually deserve absolutely nothing from God; it's only because of his love and grace for us that we have anything at all, including that which is most precious, life itself.
God is the Creator of all things. His miraculous Creation was put under our authority, yet with that authority we are expected to maintain dominion over all things in a wise and godly way and we fail so miserably at that. When we build our home on sand, or on a swamp, we can't expect there not to be adverse consequences attendant thereto. And nature's storms test our brilliance and quickly show that we aren't nearly as smart as we think we are. But, and this is a big but, if we put our faith in God and listen for His guidance and direction, He will show us the way. And this goes for how and where we build our communities to how we live our individual and daily lives. He has the answers if we will only open our eyes and ears to Him. If not, well, we will just have to suffer the consequences as we have so many times in the past.
God owes us absolutely nothing, yet He has offered us the gift of Salvation and Everlasting Life through the death of His only Son, the only perfect man who ever walked the earth. What is that gift? It's forgiveness, for when Jesus died on the Cross we were granted forgiveness for our sins, but it is up to each of us individually to accept His gracious offer. God, who owes us nothing, has given us everything in Eternal Life. It's up to us to individually tell Him yes and follow Him forever.
Dear Lord, We thank you for the gift of life that you have offered us if we believe in the Living Christ, who died so that we might live. Help us to open our hearts to understand, to believe, and to follow Him forever, beginning right now and eontinuing in the hereafter when this life is done. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.