The deadliest tornado since 1968 churned across our state, whirling less than a mile from our home on April 27, 2014.
Its power twisted huge oaks from their firmly planted roots, leveled homes, and stole the lives of precious men, women, and children, including three we knew very well. It was a heart-rending, frightening reminder of the brevity of life.
Though none of us grow literal roots from our feet and legs, we all too often live as if we were a permanent fixture on the planet. God counsels us to number our days—reminding us we are like grass, which grows up, then quickly wilts and dies. Remembering life is but a breath away from ending revitalizes us with intensity, purpose, gratitude, and a healthy sense of fragility. The sudden jolt my husband and I witnessed at the sheer power of this lethal funnel helped sharpen our focus on what truly, forever matters. Someone has said that people and God’s Word alone will live on to eternity, and realigning our priorities and our values along the horizonless plumb line of heavenly reality is most important today.
Instinctively, we want to hide from the increasing volume of bad news. But let me encourage you instead to allow the tragic worldwide loss of lives from disease, war, and evil to move you to pray for peace and relief, and even to specific action when God leads. But may you also remember today that your life, which is of immense value but little length, is a gift to be used for purposes that matter wherever He has placed you for such a time as this.