This is our Father's world, and to our listening ears,
All nature sings, and 'round us rings the music of the spheres.
This is our Father's world: we rest us in the thought,
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas-His hand the wonders wrought!
Until natural disasters such as wildfires ravage, tornadoes destroy, and hurricanes blow, we often tend to forget this glorious fact! It is tremendously horrible, even horrifying when houses, animal, and especially people wander into their destructive paths, but we must remember that these are simply God's way of clearing, cleansing, and recycling His landscape!
At this moment, the 7th anniversary of the havoc that Hurricane Katrina wreaked on the cities up and down the Gulf Coast, but especially on Sin City ( New Orleans ), Tropical Storm Isaac ( downgraded from 'Hurricane Isaac' ) is unleashing it's weakening ( but still strong ) powers in the same area of our Father's world.
Also at this time, the Rader Creek subdivision in south-western Montana is on fire, and quite a few homes have been burnt to the ground and many more are under dire threat! Reports have been leaking in throughout the day ( news crews are on the scene ), and while some report that several homes have almost miraculously escaped, others have not been so blessed. There are reports that winds are picking up and not only turning the fire back on areas that had previously escaped, but that the fire is picking up speed toward the North, and our state capitol, Helena!
Many prayers are ascending, and the town of Whitehall has 'battened down the hatches', so to speak, as more and more residents open up their hearts and even homes to help with the aftermath. When word got out that certain of the residents of Rader Ceek were evacuated from their homes; it was not long before offers for housing and whatever other help was needed began pouring in, like blessings from on High!
As these and other natural disasters occur, and the resultant love, care, and concern begin to flow from the communities around them, and even from far off places, we can begin to piece together the 'why?' of these seemingly inexplicable disasters, and take comfort in the fact that this is 'Our Father's World', that He is in full and total control, and that it is though situations like this ( house-cleaning ) that our Father brings His people together, sometimes out of the 'woodwork'!
Let us all endeavor to use times like these as an opportunity to show Christian love to our neighbor, to 'come together' as a community, and to help heal the hurt that is caused, often through our own neglect, by natural events such as this, and let us continue to actively pray that God will continue to be gracious and merciful to us all, His people!
Prayerfully and humbly,
Charles Haddon Shank