20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
The scripture above is from the book of Lamentations. Lamentations is dealing with the people of God, their sin against God, their hope in Him, and lament over the destruction of the Temple, and their desire for repentance from their sin. However, this section in Lamentations 3 that deals with hope is needed in my state right now. Hope must abound after all the destruction that has come due to the recent tornados in our area. I realize that as I type this that other states are finding themselves in similar situations, but I will keep my focus on Arkansas, because it is where I live.
Yesterday I was able to drive through several of the areas hit and actually help in Mayflower. There is only so much that officials will allow volunteers to do right now. I ended up helping clean up debris. I was able to see from one of the homes I was helping the area we weren't allowed into that day. The storm created much damage. There have been people who have lost businesses, homes, and even loved ones. I witnessed a local deli owner as she was handing out sandwiches learn that one of her constant patrons lost his life in the storm. It is hard news to hear and comprehend. I met a lady named Rose who managed to ride out the storm with her husband and weenie dog in their bath tub. Her husband watched the horrific sight of the storm heading right for there home, sucking up everything around it and blowing out transformers on telephone polls. They were lucky. There is no way that a bathtub could have saved them. It is hard to believe the force of a tornado that picked up large oak trees with a 5ft plus diameter like they were weeds in a garden and lay them down on their side or thrown all over town. I watched in horror as a family from a mobile home was using a backhoe to gather what was left of their home into a pile and watch as the bucket of that machine grabbed onto a baby's car seat. Luckily that family left their home and went to a safer place. I have yet to see the devastation of an entire downtown in Vilonia. I bet I could see it and still not imagine it. This was awful destruction. As of right now 15 have been reported killed by storm and I'm sure that will rise before its over. The search effort is still taking place. This is bad, really bad.
Many will ask, "Where was God?" or "Why would God kill children in such a storm?" or "Why were my prayers not answered?" These are not bad questions and they may not have a definite answer. It is not bad to question, but right now is not the time to give answer, I believe it is time to grieve and lament. To lay our head into God's lap and weep. It is time to lift our heads up to the heavens and cry out with questions, requests, and the cries of our heart. What happened is truly beyond comprehension and needs no answers today. Today we just need God and need one another and we need to know that God weeps too and hears our cries and our hearts.
If you get a chance today or this week, please pray for Arkansas and those families who have lost loved ones, some multiple loved ones. Pray for those who have lost their homes and property, some everything they had. Pray for our state to heal together. And pray this prayer of hope:
"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”