The aftermath of Hurricane Ike preoccupied the minds and lives of many of us near the Texas coast, after he came ashore on September 13, 2008. Most endured many days without electricity and we found out how very dependent we are on that quiet kind of power. Ike’s “math” did much more than subtract electricity from our houses, however, and some of it could be called addition or even multiplication. I heard numerous “victims” counting their blessings and talking about the positives gained through such an experience. Families rediscovered conversation and laughter and played games together. Married couples rekindled romance. Neighbors worked side by side and shared food and generators. One guy even used the ordeal to help him quit smoking.
Make no mistake about it, though. There was great pain and loss connected to this storm and it will be a very long recovery for many. Through my own challenges in dealing with Ike’s impact, I kept thinking about the daddy whose story made the news early on. He decided to take a tree down near his house before the storm did it, but when it fell, it killed his young son. That father has far more pain than most of us, even if we lost a house or part of one. Despite his wonderful intentions and hard work to protect his house, he lost what was far more valuable. Nothing I endured even compares to his pain. I’ve been praying for him.
Another family also had regrets after Ike. Someone named Frank wrote a comment online which told his story. He had decided not to evacuate his dad before Ike and afterwards regretted it, calling it “one of the worst mistakes” of his life. His dad is diabetic and was in full renal failure before Ike. On September 24 he had a major blood clot and infection and he was refusing life support. Frank wrote, “My mom is a wreck and I’m trying to hold it all together for my wife and kids, as well as my brothers and sister. I don’t know how to feel. Just wish something positive would happen for a change. I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself for this one. God, bless all who stand alongside. I love you, Dad.” I don’t know Frank, but I’ve been praying for him also and all the Franks out there who have made mistakes and can’t forgive themselves, regardless of whether the mistakes had any connection to a storm.
I pray someone like you can help Frank and others discover God’s love and forgiveness. He may never forgive himself, but God can through Jesus Christ. May we live in a way that others see Christ in us and hear us speak of His ability to get us through the storms of life. He can still calm the storms we face, like He did in the boat with His disciples (Mark 4:35-41). Or, He may choose to calm our hearts instead, and get us through the raging storm, if we choose to trust Him.
Article copyright (c) 2009 by Charles G. Mickey. All rights reserved.