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Hope and Disaster

This week, I feel caught between two natural disasters. Half of my heart is with my family and friends who live in Louisiana and were hit by Hurricane Laura. I have family and friends who will be living without electricity and water for weeks and likely months. I have friends whose homes are unlivable and whose schools are inaccessible. They are overwhelmed by storm cleanup, finding an alternate place to live, and deciding if they will rebuild. The other half of my heart is with my CA family and friends who are dealing with another summer of destructive wildfires. We have been stuck inside our homes because the air quality outside our home is not safe to breathe. Homes and businesses have been destroyed and many have been evacuated.

Oh, and then there is still the looming threat of the coronavirus, life in a pandemic and virtual school.

There is a chapter in my book where I talk about a scripture that people like to use when adversity or disaster enters our lives. I talk about all the times this verse was given to me during times of adversity and the times I may have handed it to someone else during adversity. I talk about my struggle with hearing and using this verse during these times.

Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”

I wrote the following in Chapter Twenty Seven entitled “Pushed Backwards”

“But these losses, these backward steps, they all felt like disaster. He promises plans for good and for a future and for hope, but in those immediate moments of loss, I did not feel hopeful at all. So what do we tell ourselves and others in the current moment of grief? Do we process failure, death, or diagnosis as the intended path? How can today’s disaster turn into a good future?”

My friends and family are not feeling hopeful as they cope with the loss of their homes, their schools, and their entire community. Natural disasters bring grief and sadness. It is okay if you can’t see the hope or the future right now.

God did not design the disaster, the loss, or the failure. His promise is that in relationship with him, he will get you through the hard times to reach the joyous future and hope he has for you.

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