As usual, the news is full of negative things; shootings, politics, racism, controversies of all kinds, and life-threatening hurricanes. The media, and people in general, are too quick to point out the bad stuff, but if you have your eyes (and your heart) open you will also see some positive things.
Skimming through the Internet headlines and photos yesterday I saw a lot of hardship and sadness caused by Hurricane Harvey. Streets were flooded, people were forced to evacuate their homes, and the weather channels were forecasting even more rain. But I also saw strangers coming together to help strangers. I watched one video of a group of people carrying a 91 year old man down a flight of stairs in his home to place him in an inflated canoe in his living room so they could pull it out the front door and to safety. The road in front of his house, as well as his entire first floor were under water. These people were gentle, they talked to him every step of the way, and they were compassionate. This man was only one of literally thousands who needed to be rescued, but in times of crazy uncontrollable events people still manage to put their differences aside to do the right thing. It's stories like this one that give me hope; hope that there is still decency left in the world, hope that there are still times when people react from the goodness of their heart rather than being reactionary to negativity.
In the midst of tragic times, good things still happen. Babies are still born in the most dire of circumstances reminding us that there is still a tomorrow. People forget about their personal financial stresses, their dysfunctional families, their job searches, and their relationship problems and they simply put everything personal aside and pull together to help strangers in need.
I prefer to think that God doesn't cause the bad things to happen in people's lives, but rather is there giving us the strength, patience, understanding, and compassion we need to make a positive difference as we deal with all the uncertainties we are dealt. There are many, many things we cannot control in today's world, but we will always have the ability to choose how we will react. Will we allow the negativity to suck us in and hold us under or will we fight back with everything we have and overcome the obstacles? I prefer to think that everyone has an unbelievable strength hidden deep down inside. Unfortunately, sometimes it just takes the big, unpleasant stuff to push us into digging deeper.
Join me today as I pray for everyone dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. May God watch over everyone dealing with the high waters, the many uncertainties, and help to keep everyone safe.