In the Midwest of the United States, in the small town of Joplin, Missouri, a tornado hit and destroyed over a third of the town. Fifty thousand people live there. In a matter of minutes their lives were changed forever. Entire neighborhoods gone in an instant. Everything they worked for, all that their families had scrimped and saved in order to have for their children, was taken from them. So where was God?
God was with the family huddled in the storm cellar while the storm passed by overhead, ripping the roof off the house.
God was in the cab with the newly graduated high school students driving on the road who watched as a giant tree fell and landed on the hood of their truck.
God was there with the Emergency Room doctors and nurses who scrambled to assist the wounded who flooded to what used to be the hospital, now simply a triage center in the open air of the parking lot.
God was there with those pinned down in the rubble, waiting for someone to come and free them from the bonds of debris.
God was with those who wandered what used to be their neighborhood, aimlessly looking for some sign that their homes had not been utterly wiped from the earth.
God was with the faithful who discovered that their churches had been razed to the ground, leaving no place to gather, no place to worship.
God was with those who, having no place else to go, now resided in a storm shelter until they could figure out what to do.
God was with those who perished, never abandoning them, surrounding them in divine presence until they drew their very last breath.
And God is there now, with the relief and rescue workers, with the survivors, with the wounded, with the lost, with the disoriented, and with those who suffer life after the disaster. God never leaves the remnant. God is with you now, waiting to rebuild.
(Image courtesy of urbanchristiannews.com)