spiritual musings--tragedy redeemed to triumph

I'm Still Standing (Yeah, yeah, yeah)

12:39 PMHeather

My husband can sleep through a hurricane. This is not a metaphor. This is a fact. As a kid, he woke up one morning to find that school was cancelled. His mom explained that Hurricane Alicia had come through the night before. Downed trees all up and down the street confirmed the rumor. And, apparently, this is a genetic trait. You see, my in-laws decided to ride out Hurricane Ike last September. In their condo. On the thirteenth floor of a Houston high-rise. Can you believe it?! I didn't think it was a good plan either. Particularly when their hourly e-mail updates via their Blackberry included this statement: "Winds predicted to be 175 miles or more. Think our windows are hurricane proof for 175 mph. Will close up heavy curtains to cover windows." What?! I pictured these "heavy curtains" billowing in the wind as the windows blew out and my in-laws were sucked out and tossed about like that cow scene from the movie Twister. Within a few hours, their e-mail simply read, "Going to bed. Will call in the a.m." Sleep they did, with no need to test how their curtains might save the day. Thankfully, the hurricane windows held.

As they sent photos from the "front lines," I was intrigued by this photo that the Houston Chronicle and even national news outlets were showing.
Again--can you believe it?! I couldn't either, and the story behind it was even more unbelievable. After the homeowners had their house destroyed in Hurricane Rita in 2005, they were determined to rebuild. Only better. After consulting with experts, they set out to build a house that would be stronger and better equipped to withstand the winds and waves. Despite the fact that the storm surge did enter their home during Ike, it was the only house still standing.

Intrigued by this photo, I got to thinking about it, and suddenly saw it as a picture of how tragedy in our lives can be redeemed.
Psalm 25:22 says, "Redeem Israel, O God,out of all his troubles." When I've felt my heart smashed to bits from the storms of life, I've loved the idea of God buying back those shambles and redeeming my heart ache, turning it into something good. Kinda like the story of poor Joseph. He was first the victim of sibling rivalry run rampant, and then, the victim of a woman who didn't like to be told no, so she had him thrown into jail. But, time and time again, God redeemed Joseph's troubles, giving him a way out. And, in the end, Joseph finds it in his heart to forgive those scoundrels he called brothers, telling them, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives," Genesis 50:20.

We, too, can have a Joseph "light-bulb" moment when we see God rebuild the ruins of our lives. It's not easy--it doesn't happen quickly. But, somewhere, somehow, when we give the wreckage to Him, and let Him--He will rebuild. And, the next time the winds howl and the waves crash, everything around us might be destroyed, but we'll be better prepared to withstand the storms of life.



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