Find the original post at Sarah Prosser’s blog.
A little over a week ago, I surveyed my apartment, taking one last visual inventory of almost every worldly possession I own. As I walked down the stairs of my apartment building, I wondered when I would be able to come back and what I would be returning to.
In the muggy summer rain that was oh-so-appropriate for the current mood of my city and state, I loaded myself and a couple of hastily packed bags into my car, beginning the trek to Orlando.
Not even an hour before, I had decided to fly out. In a sea of $1,000 one-way flights, I stumbled across a flight my meager bank account could afford. There’s no other explanation than God’s grace. He does always provide, you know.
That night in the hotel, I couldn’t sleep. I dreamed of destruction, the life and city I once knew mangled and washed away at the hands of mother nature. Or maybe at the hands of the Old Testament God of Wrath. I hadn’t decided yet.
Despite physically relocating my body to Michigan, my mind continued to be in a different place, worried about the friends, life, city, and state that I had left behind. I wrestled with God, much like Jacob in the Book of Genesis, struggling between thoughts of How can You allow this? and How are You working in this? For days I watched her chug along. Waiting.
And then the day came. I compulsively peered into a small hand-held screen, watching a weather man in a bright blue jacket fight mighty gusts, standing on a street I know all too well. I went to sleep that night, wondering what the morning would hold.
At dawn, they said, We are all okay. There’s no serious damage to campus.
I breathed a long awaited sigh of relief.
I live in Naples, Florida.
Yes, we were spared the worst. The predicted armageddon never came. The Divine Weatherman broke down the back end of the storm, providing for us as always. Nonetheless, those slow ticking days and hours of anticipation set forth an opportunity (or more accurately forced an opportunity) to unclench my death grip on life and give back to the Giver all that he has given.
What does it mean to give it all? To live like the apostles, who, at hearing the words, “Follow me,” immediately left their possessions and plans behind, trusting that the Lord would provide. (Matthew 4:18-22).
Those close to me can attest that I have struggled to see God working in this mess. How could you not?
As I wrestled with myself, with God, I found the only way to respond to this situation was sacrifice; to meet my Lord at the cross and crucify all of my life with His, full-heartedly trusting in the hope of resurrection.
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up,” He said. (John 2:19). And he did. What He destroyed, He rebuilt even better. But in order for that to happen, all that was known had to be sacrificed, had to be destroyed.
Those three days of waiting post crucifixion must have been encompassed in a thick darkness that only those experiencing it could explain. Will He make good on His promise?
These post Hurricane Irma days are much the same. As we rebuild, as we navigate the uncharted territory before us, we hope. We hope that in our sacrifice, in our destruction, there is good, that there will be a resurrection of our lives, our city, our state.
Hurricane Irma has taken so much, but she has also given. She has given us the opportunity to enter deep into the reality of the mystery of Christ’s passion and resurrection. And that, friends, is a gift that far surpasses anything that she has taken.