At the end of October, 2012, Superstorm Sandy ravished cities and towns on the Atlantic Coast. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed. The storm reeked havoc and mass destruction to the tune of over 75 billion dollars. 275 lives ended.
I watched the news and read the headlines and saw the pictures sent around social media. My heart ached and tears flowed for the overwhelming loss and mind-boggling mess.
And then, my life went on.
But long after the waters rose and the winds came and the towns were devastated, the damage is still being repaired. Scars everywhere.
Rebuilding takes time.
Long after the storm ended, 17 willing hearts from a church in the small town of Custer, flew to the devastation to help with the relief efforts. Just one group of many who come, work, and go home while another group arrives to step in where they left off. Because even so long after, there is still much work to do.
People, being the hands and feet of Jesus. Sacrificing. Working. Serving. Bringing hope. Being love.
Long after the storm has ended and my life has long since moved on, help and hope still come.
Long after God promised Abram a child, Sarah gave birth to Isaac. And her heart rejoiced as she laughed.
Rejoicing comes after the heartache.
And long after that, another Son was born. A Son that would bring Light to the dark and stormy world. A rescuer.
Because a loving God doesn’t leave us in the dark, in the midst of the storm. A loving God sends a rescuer. A loving God sends Light.
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ~ Colossians 1:13-14
Long after aching loss, broken hearts, wild anger, God tells his story of redemption.
Long after the boy was sick, the scars remain, telling the story of God’s love and faithfulness, and of healing. Because God restores.
And I’m learning… Long after our storms, our scars remain. And they tell our story.
Long after the son left his father and squandered his riches, he returned. And he was reconciled to his father. And his father rejoiced for the life that was once lost, but now was found.
And when parents teach and listen and love and pour Truth into their children and pray over them and weep for them and hold them tight while letting them go, it sometimes isn’t until long after that they finally see the fruits of their labor, the work of the Lord in the heart of their grown child.
And sometimes, they don’t see it at all. And they feel like the storm is raging on and on. And all they can do is pray.
But that is no small thing, to pray to the Rescuer, the Redeemer, who can calm any wave and still any storm.
And even while it may still rage, he still holds you in the palm of his hand.
So what’s your long after story? Is it one of redemption? Reconciliation? Rebuilding and restoring? What’s your rescue story? And what are your scars that tell this story, God’s story?
Did rejoicing come after your storm?
Or are you still in the storm, in the darkness, looking for a way a way out?
Just remember, after the storm has ended, the sun shines again. It always does. And your scars will be your story.
*Sandy Relief team, you are in my prayers as you are the hands and feet of Jesus, bringing hope and being love.