I was watching the news one night after coming home from work and the weather specialist happened to be on at that time. The anchor of that program was getting updates from him in the wake of the horrible and devastating tornadoes that had just pummeled Moore, Oklahoma. In his disbelief and shock over the power of the winds that had just overtaken that state- indeed, the same area of that state- for the third time in fourteen years, he asked “What did we do wrong?”
That’s the right question and it is the proper response to what had happened. He was connecting a judgment or a consequence to an action or a series of actions, although we don’t know what they were. If you’re a parent, you’ll understand that sometimes it takes a harsh punishment to correct the ways of a rebellious child. That seems to be the only way for them to understand, ot at least to get them on the right path again. And, sometimes, the first time doesn’t do the trick. But never more than is necessary. Does that mean the mother or father doesn’t love them? Of course not. Just the opposite. But which is better for the child: to leave them alone to continue in their destructive behavior (which never ends well) or to discipline them in such a way as to extinguish the flames of that behavior and to restore them? We would all choose the latter, no matter how hard or unloving it may seem.
The question of the weatherman showed that it got his attention. In the aftermath of the tornado and talking with the residents of Moore, their hearts turned to God as well. Yes, they saw and witnessed and lived through the devastation, but they thanked God for being alive and safe, for protecting them and teachers sang “Jesus Loves Me” while sheltering their students with their bodies.
The Bible talks about in Jeremiah chapter three how bad it is for those that go through such suffering that is meant to draw them back to the Lord, and even then they are so stubborn or stuck in their sin that they ignore the warning. God uses such measures to turn us back to Him. Remember that redemption and reconciliation are at the heart of everything He does because He loves us! Moore responded. They turned. I hope this is just the beginning, that this will lead to repentance, and that they will never have to go through something like this again. Only God knows the hearts of any people and He is very patient. Let us all take heed as well so that we don’t find ourselves in need of correction, especially on that scale. There is more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine who have no need of repentance. Let’s pray for them and our nation as a whole. God Almighty is waiting with arms wide open to shower us with love, forgiveness and salvation. Let’s seek the Lord while He may be found. Yesterday is gone. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Today is the day of salvation. God Bless you. God Bless Moore.
(p.s. Did you see the image of the closet where the one teacher and seven kids were taking shelter? It was surrounded by rubble, an overturned car was within a few feet of it, and it was the only thing left standing in that area. God had shown beyond a doubt His love and protection for them. That was great and very evident!)