Y’all! It’s late July in Louisiana. Hot. Muggy. Did I mention hot? Listen, I’m not talking about mildly, uncomfortable heat. The specific heat I am referring to here, is a heat so intense, you would think the devil himself was gonna appear any second. So hot, that your legs, not just stick to the seats, they have seat exteriors melted to them upon standing. Under brassiere sweat before 6 am, kind of hot. I would continue, but I don’t want to make anybody, anymore uncomfortable with these increasingly gross analogies.
Along with this insatiable July heat comes another pleasant bestowal. A wonderful package deal. Stupendous two for one. Glorious BOGO….Hurricane season. Yes folks, heat AND hurricanes. Yippee. And as you would have it, 44 days into the 2019 season, ole Louisiana draws the short straw. We get the 1st storm of the year! Whoooohooo Louisiana! Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Thank you hurricane Barry.
In the weeks leading up to Barry’s grand arrival (it in fact may have only been one week, not sure. All I do know is it seemed like forever) I, like many others, watched countless news reports. The dramatic, the sensational, the grandiose. Every station, every report, trying, desperately, to report the exact same story from a different angle.
Amidst all this repetitive clatter, one story did manage to catch my attention. Minutes after the winds had dwindled, a city official, in one of the small towns most severely impacted by Barry’s quake, was attempting to appease the media, by providing the interview every newscaster wants in the middle of an ongoing disaster. The one where the interviewee is at their lowest. Just been through one of the worst days of there lives. This was that exact interview. The official was blatantly fatigued, rain soaked, emotionally exhausted, answering question after question, when he said something so profound, I stopped in my tracks. “We haven’t seen a hurricane in our city in 10 years, it revealed our weak points, we have some work to do.”
It revealed our weak points.
We have some work to do.
God began speaking almost immediately. (And no not audibly, I am not looney toons)
This hardship. This difficult season. These day(s), week(s), month(s), year(s) that have entangled, entrapped, beaten, and made you feel as though you were sinking in mud. Suffocating.
They are not for not. They are not to destroy you. They are not to cause you pain. They are here for one purpose. They must reveal your weak points. Once your weak points are clear, they can be repaired, restored, fortified. The next storm, trial, hardship, will not be able to impact, let alone damage this area again.
Yes, the storm has battered, beat, torn, shredded, shattered, and ripped out. Yes, it is agonizing, painful, devastating, and crushing. No, it will not be easy to rebuild, to put back together, to replace. But it can be done.
We have some work to do.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT