I am THANKFUL! My family and I are okay, having gone through the most devastating storm to hit the city of Houston, and our neighborhood was not adversely affected.
For three days the news of the situation in south Houston kept getting worse. Each time I watched the heart wrenching pictures on TV, all I could do was offer prayers for the city and its people and be grateful we were still safe. Initially all we had in our area north of the city was heavy rain. However, driving around yesterday, I saw neighborhoods a few miles from us that were completely under water with a throng of rescue boats lining up for the search. Between the news on TV, the frequent emergency alerts blaring on my cell, rescue helicopters hovering over the neighborhood, talking to friends in nearby areas who were flooded but thankfully evacuated, the continuous rain, etc, I felt shaken and apprehensive. I prayed some more.
As the news worsened, reporters who tried to remain politically correct in their religious views began to soften. An evacuee, Jeremiah, who made it through miles of water by rescue boat with his young son and just a backpack was being interviewed and stated, how grateful he was. “Thank God we are safe,” he repeated three times. When he walked away, however, the reporter said, “This young man just thanked his lucky stars that he and his son are okay.” I thought, “All you had to do was quote the man correctly.” Later though another reporter who was welcoming a whole neighborhood coming by boat repeated several times, “Thank God you are okay.” By the evening news, on the report that a load of people had been safely evacuated from an area, a reporter shouted “Hallelujah!”
Does it have to get that bad before we call on the name of The Lord?
The reports of strangers and volunteers putting their lives at risk to help others were the uplifting stories that showed the human spirit still prevailed in hopeless times. People, including myself, began to think, “How can I help?” Facebook and NextDoor overflowed with neighborhood helpful information: what supermarkets, stores or gas stations are open, what roads are clear or flooded, what place is offering shelter, where one can volunteer, where to donate supplies, etc.
When the severity of the storm was announced, we realized that it might be several days before the stores were re-stocked. My sister, a former military, and I went on a “recon” (recognizance) tour and posted open facilities that we passed. We stood in line in the rain for an hour a and half to get more provisions from a Walmart that happened to be opened among closed or flooded stores. I was able to pick up air mattresses and food supply for my church (Light of the World Christian Fellowship) that is sheltering evacuees.
This morning when I opened my eyes to a ray of sunshine filtering through the blinds, I jumped out of bed glorifying God and stared at the beautiful sunrise. My friend Kristen who lives in the bay area in Galveston posted a view of the beach this morning: blue sky and calm splashing waves. Harvey moved on and the news flash is: the waters are receding! We made it through.
We may be broken, but we can build again! We are alive! We’ve been granted another opportunity to experience God’s glory on this earth. Political correctness is out the window. Let us all feel free to praise Him and shout Hallelujah! For sunshine, for blue skies, for calm splashing waves, for people helping and loving each other, for hope.
Here is my offering to uplift the spirits of all of those connected to the city of Houston, all affected directly or indirectly by hurricane Harvey. Stay strong.
Be encouraged in The Lord. Keep on pressing on. https://youtu.be/-OEtOJWPynE