My grandparents survey and mourn the rubble that was their beloved home of twenty-three years. My grandfather built that home with his own hands. My grandmother raised all her children, fed them and nurtured them within those comforting walls. It was my childhood home for four years as well.
At first the shock of losing our homes didn’t sink in. We were just elated to be alive and too exhausted to worry about anything but rest and a place to stay. Then as the days wore on and we got a closer look at the devastation, it sunk in. Tears didn’t come at first like I expected. Just a feeling of emptiness set in. A feeling of loss, ruin, and not knowing what to do next.
As I went through the rubble of what used to be my home, I would find little treasures, objects that held memories. My tears fell on the scarred wooden floors. Everything familiar I had loved gone. My country paradise would never be the same.
But when the day came to say goodbye to our dear friend Mr. Thomas Lee, who had saved his family and his son’s life by sacrificing his, my grief over possessions disappeared. I felt guilty for grieving over replaceable things. Restoration is at our fingertips, but lives are not replaceable. I still have my family, my father and all people dear to me that were in that tornado.
This Bible verse suddenly held a completely different meaning to me- “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
If you had seen my home before and after this tornado, you might wonder why my family and I are not bitter, resenting that our treasures and beautiful home were taken without warning. But how could I dare to be bitter towards God when He had just saved my life and those I loved?
My treasure is my family. Not just the family with my last name, but our family in Christ. Those that were with us in that basement, those that we clung to as we prayed for each other’s safety. Those that reached out to us in our time of desperation. It didn’t matter what denomination, they all came to reach out a helping hand. We must look beyond what turns to dust and destruction.
We often cling to possessions too dearly. We must be content to let go. This time in my life has been the biggest test and trial in letting things go. But God has shown me the bigger picture. He has given me such a tremendous peace about what will happen next.