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Chaplain's Corner: Ramblings

Chaplain Bill Wolfe / Llano County Sheriff's Department

Hello, and welcome again to the Chaplain’s Corner. When I wrote my column for this month it was just days after Hurricane Ike hit the Houston area and my focus was directed mostly towards the survivors of that disaster. But when you think about it for a minute, the thoughts I present are applicable regardless of the disaster be it a tornado, flood, blizzard, divorce or fire … whatever life-changing challenge you happen to be facing this week.

Gee, where do I go this time? On one hand we’ve just had a devastating hurricane hit Texas with all those ramifications. On the other is a very historic presidential election and one which will literally make or break our country. I guess I should try and stay away from politics.

I suppose that when you come down to it, Hurricane Ike and the political contest both have something in common. They both cause us to evaluate what’s important to us; to evaluate our options and the potential for disastrous outcomes if we make the wrong decision. “Once you buy a prize, it’s yours to keep.”

In the case of Hurricane Ike, people had to literally choose between what they would save and what they would lose…to “take a step back” and examine what a lifetime of living had brought and decide what they would and could take with them into the future. A hurricane, unlike a fire, does afford some time to save some things, but the decision making and ultimate loss are nonetheless traumatic events. There’s no way around that. I had the occasion to have a “road-side conversation” with a gentleman from Kemah one afternoon soon after the storm. He said he’d served in and lived through a war, but this hurricane was almost more than he could handle.

I’m sure that there are a lot among the family of the “thin blue line” that have suffered loss from the hurricane and my heart goes out to you. I’m truly sorry that I can’t fix it for you. I’m proud of you who stuck to your duty posts through the storm. I’m sure there were moments when you wanted to help see your family to safety more than anything else.

So now that the storm has passed, the rebuilding of life begins. Where does the inner strength to “pick up the pieces and start over” come from? Hehe. The words to a children’s song from the Square One TV show came to mind as I typed that: “It all comes back to 9.” It all comes back to God. God’s presence in our hearts is what gets us through and back on our feet. Scripture tells us that God “is a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) Psalms 23 tells of God bringing comfort to one going through “the valley of the shadow of death,” but it the truth is that He comforts through “the valley of the shadow of disaster.” God never promised to spare us from the disasters and traumas of life, only to go through them with us if we are willing to let Him walk with us.

The words to one of our daughter’s favorite Point of Grace songs also come to mind…

Things change
Plans fail
You look for love on a grander scale
Storms rise
Hopes fade
And you place your bets on another day
When the going gets tough
When the ride’s too rough
When you’re just not sure enough

Jesus will still be there
His love will never change
Sure as a steady rain
Jesus will still be there
When no one else is true
He’ll still be loving you
When it looks like you’ve lost it all
And you haven’t got a prayer
Jesus will still be there

One of my favorite artists, Evie Tornquist Karlsson, shared a very similar thought in a song called “Give Them All To Jesus.” Part of the lyrics go:

Wrap up all those shattered dreams of your life
And at the feet of Jesus, lay them down.

Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, and broken toys.
Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus
And He will turn your sorrows into joy.

I heard someone say “Easier said than done.” And someone else said “I’ve never talked to God, I wouldn’t know what to say.” Yes, it does often seem easier said than done – especially when you’re in the middle of it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort. As far as knowing what to say…God’s not impressed with our words. It’s the attitude of our heart He’s listening to. A prayer can be as simple as “Jesus, I need Your help to get me through this disaster I find myself in. Please make Yourself real to me, send me some encouragement and help me to trust You in the midst of this mess. You said in the Psalms that You would, help me to believe you will. Amen.” As long as you mean it, you’re on your way.

Hey, thanks for spending some time with me. Think about it and I’ll talk with you next “shift.”

Blessings to you and yours.

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