Summary: When devastation rains down upon you, take heart for there are blessings to follow. An examination of God’s blessings one year after the Hoisington tornado.
Today is April 21st, marking the one year anniversary of the event that turned most of our lives upside down in an instant....the Hoisington tornado. If you’re like me, it’s hard to believe it’s already been a year. I reflect back upon all that I’ve seen and experienced at how far God has taken me. It is from this reflective point of view that I speak to you today. As we wrap up our April showers series, we are going to look at God’s blessings when destruction has rained down upon you.
As we reflect today, I think it is crucially important to remember where you were. I want to talk not only in terms of the tornado, but also where you were before you met Jesus.
2 Samuel 22:5(NLT)
“The waves of death surrounded me, the floods of destruction swept over me.”
Last year’s tornado left a lasting legacy. I think it would be safe to say that this was a legacy of destruction. In an instant the things that tend to be foundational pieces of our lives were left in ruins.
Homes, finances and jobs left in a pile of debris. But something else suffered severe damage that day also. Your sense of peace and security.
“But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I called to my God for help. He heard me from His sanctuary; my cry reached His ears…He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters.”
2 Samuel 22:7, 17
Even in the midst of all of that turmoil, you were overwhelmed by God’s presence. You knew He was there, in that small space, hunkered down. You felt His hands upon your shoulders and His voice was heard.."do not fear."
You emerged from your basement, storm cellar or closet and found that you were left with questions.
Who can help?
Where will I live?
What do I do now?
When can I go home?
How will I make it?
Why did this happen?
For every question you had...God had an answer. The nameless volunteer who cut wood in your yard, the Salvation Army van bringing you a meal, the businesses that lent you a helping hand. Questions replaced with answers. Read what the Psalmist said about just such a time.
Psalms 118:5 (NLT)
“In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and rescued me.”
The road you traveled these last 365 days was long and yet you were not alone.
Judges 18:6 (NLT)
“Go in peace,” the priest replied. “For the Lord will go ahead of you on your journey.”
Life was filled with big decisions.
Where to stay?
Bulldoze or repair?
Buy or build?
What to keep, what to throw away?
A plan of action?
But God wrote the plan for your life. He knew the path ahead and He directed.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
Psalms 32:8 (NLT)
The task ahead seemed almost impossible.
And yet you found that God is an everpresent help in time of need. You watched as men and women led by a prompting of the heart, jumped in and lent you a hand.
If you see your neighbor’s ox or donkey lying on the road, do not look the other way. Go and help your neighbor get it to it’s feet!”
Look how far God has brought us this year. If you’re like me, you see yourself in each of these descriptions.
Life is different now, but you’ve gotten to taste and see that the Lord is good.
You see the answer to the question of why did all of this have to happen is answered in the latter part of this next verse.
2 Samuel 22:20 (NLT)
“He led me to a place of safety; He rescued me because He delights in me.”
If you hadn’t been through the storm, you would never truly realize how much God delights in you. The same delight that led Jesus to take your place on the cross was displayed by the loving Father who has provided for you in this time of rebuilding. He delights in you, because He loves you with an everlasting love.