In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation it is leaving in its wake, best-selling Christian author and preacher, Max Lucado has listed three important lessons we can all learn from the experience.
This also applies to other parts of the world presently experiencing floods, like in Makurdi, Benue State, for example. (See photos of the devastation there)
Lesson #1- Stuff doesn’t last. Relationships do.
As you’ve listened to evacuees and survivors, have you noticed their words? No one laments a lost plasma television or submerged SUV. No one runs through the streets yelling, “My cordless drill is missing” or “My golf clubs have washed away.” If they mourn, it is for people lost. If they rejoice, it is for people found.
Could Jesus be reminding us that people matter more than possessions? In a land where we have more malls than high schools, more debt than credit, more clothes to wear than we can wear, could Christ be saying:
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15 NIV).
You see demolished $40,000 cars that will never be driven again, hidden in debris. And in the background of our minds we hear the quiet echoes of Jesus saying, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NIV).
Raging hurricanes and swollen bayous have a way of prying our fingers off the stuff we love. What was once most precious now means little; what we once ignored is now of eternal significance.
Think about what matters to you.
Lesson #2: We really are in this together.
We saw, and are seeing, how humanity can come together and help each other. Lifeboats did not discriminate by color of skin. Rescuers did not ask if the needy were Republican or Democrat. Helicopter rescue wasn’t offered only to the rich or educated. People came together to help people.
We don’t have to have a Harvey to prompt us to help others, however. Someone in your office could use your assistance. They aren’t stranded on a rooftop, but they are likely struggling with a decision. Someone in your neighborhood could use a friend. They didn’t lose their house, but, perhaps they lost their way.
Let’s let Harvey remind us: we really are in this together.
Lesson #3: This world doesn’t work but the next one will.
“The whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:19-22 NIV).
The creation is third trimester heavy. Birth pangs must occur before a new birth. During the birth pangs the mother keeps focused on the end result: the moment that she will hold her beautiful baby in her arms. She knows that birth pangs don’t last forever; indeed, the more intense the pangs, the nearer the delivery.
Our world is experiencing a rash of birth pangs these days. It is not to me to declare the day the Lord will return. But we know this much: it’s the beginning of the end and the beginning of new beginnings. Calamities and catastrophes must occur before the birth of the new world. In the meantime- practice what they teach in Lamaze classes- take some deep breaths and hold the hand of the one who loves you.