Yesterday afternoon, tornadoes ripped across the state of North Carolina! We knew a few days prior that severe weather was expected but we had no idea just how "severe" it was to be. My two oldest children had play practice all day on Saturday and rode in a carpool. As the time for them to come home drew near, the sky became more and more black. We are used to thunderstorms in the part of the country so I prayed that the kids would arrive home safely before the rain made it hard for the driver to see. By the time the carpool pulled into my driveway, I knew much more than a thunderstorm was on the horizon. The sky was extremely black, the wind was whipping and the air was a strange mix of warm and cold. I asked the whole carpool to come into our house and wait awhile while the storm passed. We ate popsicles, played Uno and chatted. The rain poured and the wind howled. Our electricity went out and stayed out.
After about an hour, the sky cleared and the carpool left. We were soon informed by one of the carpool members that power lines near our home were down on the ground, trees were mangled and the roof was blown from a mobile home. A friend called my cell phone to inform us that she had no doubts that a tornado ripped through our town - about 3 miles from my own front door.
My husband suggested we pile into the van and survey the damage reported by my friends. I could not believe what I saw! There were three cars under large, old trees. There were homes with sections of shingles missing, power lines literally on the street and many thick trees snapped in half. We went home to put batteries into an old radio and discovered that the damage had been widespread. More than 14 lives were reportedly lost within a 25 miles radius of our town and several people are still missing.
My heart breaks for those who experienced true devastation from this storm. I know the Bible says that God causes the rain to fall on the just and the wicked. In other words, it is not accurate to believe the "good people" were spared damage and the "bad people" were hardest hit. That's not how God works. Pain, trials and loss come to everyone, saved or lost. The difference comes in the response to those trials. When we walk in a personal relationship with Christ, we can trust in His sovereignty and know that He does everything for His glory and for our good. It's hard to fathom how a tornado could be used for "good" but God always makes a way. Beauty from ashes. You can count on it!
Pics from nearby: (click on the photo to maximize)