I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking and praying for the people effected by the floods in West Virginia and the people displaced by the fires in California. I can’t even imagine losing everything in a natural disaster. The heartache, may God give them strength to get through this season in their lives. May God heal those who have been injured and may God give comfort to those who have lost loved ones.
I have been through 2 hurricanes and a tropical storm in my life. We didn’t evacuate for any of them, even though we were under voluntary evacuation for all of them. One hurricane ripped through the east cost of Florida making it’s way on shore as a category 2 and moved over land past Orlando and made it to Tampa, where we lived, as a category 1. We lived behind a trailer park and an orange grove. The wind was so powerful it ripped the roof and car port off a trailer and slammed it into the power lines and fence behind us before it impacted the back of our neighbor house. With no power and no air conditioning we huddled around the center of our tiny two story home and held on to one another hoping the next flying object didn’t hit us. All of a sudden we heard a loud slam from upstairs, the window in the office had been sucked out completely by the pressure from the wind. We were all in shock as the rain started to come into the house. We quickly moved to get anything valuable out of that room. We were scared and had second thoughts about evacuating, but at that point it was too late. After a few hours of non stop 75 mile per hour, plus, winds it calmed down. The sky became blue and the sun came out, we were not out of the woods yet though, we were in the eye of the hurricane. It was another couple hours before it finally passed. The entire city was without power for three days. The damage was in the billions, what we lost was small compared to others. Some people lost everything.
The recent tragedies got me thinking about my evacuation plan. What would I take with me? If I had to evacuate today and I knew that it was a good possibility I would come back to nothing. So what would I take? Maybe not the cat, he bites. Maybe not the TV, I could buy another one. Maybe not the couch, it’s too big. Maybe not the… I have to ask you a serious question, what would you take?
My immediate answer would be to take the things that I cannot replace. Family pictures, kids school awards, my employee of the month trophy, things like that. The second things would be things that would be difficult to replace, my passport, birth certificates, things like that. The third thing I would take are those things of monetary value, jewelry, baseball cards, antiques, things like that. I would take those things with me because they would be irreplaceable, difficult to replace or too expensive to replace. That all seems reasonable and then there’s my insurance plan.
If all is lost and the place burns to the ground, gets swept away by the rising river, there is a plan to replace everything you have lost. You can’t get back the personal things, but memories are worth more than pictures. “Some memories are a unforgettable, vivid and heartwarming” – Joseph Wirthlin. God will always keep those memories close to your heart. The insurance plan you took out will replace the rest. You made sure you paid your premium, your policy was up to date and if anything were to happen, God forbid, you’re covered. God has an insurance plan just like that, it doesn’t protect your belongings, it protects your soul.
“God Will Provide” Philippians 4:19, God has written an insurance plan for you already. God says everything can be replaced, everything can be set a new, everything can be renewed, and he sent his insurance plan to die on a cross for you and me. God can replace the brokenness, the hurt, the pain and the suffering. The premium has been paid but is your policy up to date?
“You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.” Corinthians 7:23. I think back on the decision to stay and not evacuate from the hurricane. My eagerness, my need, my selfishness to hold on to what I thought was valuable in my life put the lives of my wife and daughter in jeopardy. All in needed to do is trust in God to provide the things that I couldn’t see. I became a slave to my possessions and put that before all else.
I think about how all those things will not matter when I die. You can’t take it with you when you go. You can only take what God has given to you, every lasting life. The things in this world that don’t matter, the money, the stuff, the awards, the ________ fill in the blank. You can say, I’ll pass it on to my kids, please go back an review my last blog. Give your children the knowledge you wish you knew not the items you wish you had. Tell you kids, grand kids, great grand kids the good news, that Jesus died for us and if we believe in him we will have ever lasting life. That’s a bigger inheritance than anything monetary.
God has a plan and he will provide all the things needed for you to achieve that plan. Open your heart to it. “God use me, but not over here. That’s not good enough. You need to get off your platform and go where God is calling you.” – Officer Neil Schmitz (New Life Chapel). If you had to leave everything today and follow what God has planned for you, would you? God has an evacuation plan set in motion for your heart and it’s not voluntary. God will call you, are you ready to answer?
I pray for those who lost everything and I don’t mean to belittle or make light of what they must be going through. I could not imagine, I really couldn’t. But I do take solace in the fact that I know my God will provide and everything has been made new with the insurance policy he took out on my life.