It’s been over a month since Hurricane Irene and while things have settled a great deal my wife and I are still adjusting to changes. There are the minor inconveniences due to ongoing repair work to our house and yard. Then, there is also the fact that going somewhere can be a challenge as we must consider which roads are still closed and can we get there from here. However, the biggest challenge to our sanity and health is the cloud of dust that hangs over our neighborhood.
The road in front of our house had been washed out by the flood and has been repaired with a gravel/stone-dust mixture which makes for a good driving surface. However, we’ve found that this surface when dried out give off a fine white powdery dust that causes allergy type symptoms, coats vegetation and permeates into the house. Heavy traffic on our street stirs up this dust making the problem worse. I’ve found myself falling into anger at the drivers who zip by apparently oblivious to the problems they’re creating for those of us who live here. Our house survived Irene, but will we survive this dust?
Then when I pause to think, I am reminded of God’s goodness in spite of all that has happened. Yes, we did survive Irene, but only because of God’s goodness. We’ve seen more of His blessings each day since the storm. One by one problems have been solved and things are returning to some resemblance of normal. The dust problem too will pass. God has been impressing upon me for me to look on the things I am gaining, not on the things I have lost (sounds a lot like counting blessings, doesn’t it). It really has to do with looking to Him, the author and finisher of my faith. He loves me and if I love Him, I will trust Him.
One of the blessings we have received recently came on a Sunday morning two weeks after the storm. As we passed by the bleak opening of our ruined garage, we heard the plaintive cry of a small animal. Going into the garage we looked to see a kitten poke her head over the edge of a box on a high shelf where she had taken refuge for the night. She was cold, hungry and very needy. Needless to say, our hearts were broken and she is now part of our family despite our efforts to find where she came from and despite the protests of our dog. Being the color of dust, and other reasons, we decided to call her Dusty (although this name changes from week to week).
Dusty, as did Irene, has reminded us of our relationship to our heavenly Father. When we found her, she was so needy. We could not ignore her pitiful cry for help. She appeared to need us desperately and we were ready to help. Now she is beginning to get bolder. She reminds me of what it is like to have a cat for her independence and stubbornness grows everyday. She ignors discipline getting into mischief, often puttinh herself into harm's way. She still needs our help, but no longer does she seek for it as she once did, crying desperately. Now she demands things as only a cat can demand (cat owners will understand).
And so I think of how it is between me and my heavenly Father. I came to Him desperately at the beginning crying out for Him. As I’ve known Him longer, I take Him for granted, becoming more independent, going my own way, doing my own things, putting myself into harm's way, then demanding help when I feel the need. Oh, to have that desire for God I once had. I pray I can love God more each day instead of drifting from His tender care.