Joplin is a great community. All of my Great Aunts and Uncles still live in the area, as do their children. They are all very close and gather frequently for family events. Sunday night was terrifying for them. Not only did the tornado threaten their homes and possessions, it also threatened their lives. One of our cousins, his wife, and their two children were missing Sunday night after the storm. Their home had been completely destroyed, total devastation, and they were not accounted for. My mom couldn't reach her brother either.
We waited for hours in anticipation of news of their safety. We first heard from my Uncle that he was safe and the house was relatively damage free. This was a huge relief and an answer to prayer. But the waiting continued for many more hours as we prayed for the safety and survival of our other family. Late Sunday night, my Great Aunt called my mom with the news. Her son and his family had been found amidst the rubble of their ruined home, it was truly a miracle of God that they were alive. They had not been able to take proper shelter and were huddled together in the living room of their house when the tornado struck. The house was demolished around them, but the Lord protected them. I almost couldn't believe the news when my mom told me. I just want to keep shouting PRAISE THE LORD!!
I keep thinking about how this image is a great picture of our lives without the Lord. We are all like my cousins, trapped under rubble and debris from our lives. Without the Lord's providence, we would all perish in the storm. But he is our Savior and he delivers us from harm's way. He takes us out of the debris of our lives, and provides us with his grace and love. What a great picture of God's love for us!
Please continue to pray for the people of Joplin. I cannot imagine losing everything I own in a matter of minutes, where do you even go from there? But amidst tragedy, people will join together to offer help, love, and support to their neighbors and loved ones. I pray that people will see the love of Christ and his mercies and grace, that they would find comfort in the middle of this mess in the truth that God is good, he is mighty to save!