When Nothing is Left, an Ode to Joplin

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Joplin Missouri took the brunt of a E5 tornado a couple of weeks ago.  Many of you know, as you've seen the global news coverage, there are 140 dead and most everything in the path of the tornado has been destroyed. 

My parents drove over to Joplin yesterday to help with some of the relief efforts, and this is one of the pictures I got from their iPhone.  Can you believe this?

As I sat back and thought about the devestation, I began to think…

What do you do when nothing is left?
How do you look toward tomorrow, when all your yesterdays have evaporated?
What happens when the one's you love have just been taken away?
How can you find hope?

I wonder if Jesus' words in Matthew 5 hold a candle to what's going on?  "Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God."

He told the crowds this in an era where Roman occupation had the freedom to destroy homes, take livelihoods, or even rape and destroy families.  He told the crowds the poorest of the poor can have hope in the middle of the worst time in life.  In fact, not only could they have hope, they were privy to the Kingdom of God.

I know the devestation is great in Joplin.
I know it will take years for those who are mourning to reach a place of peace.
I'm well aware of the loss the community feels when they walk outside to see these images.

The word that continues to come to me this morning is this.  Even though Nothing is Left, God still offers us His Kingdom. 

When we've reached the end of ourselves.
When we've gotten to the end of our rope. 
When we've got nothing left to offer anyone.

That's the point when God says, "Watch this."

Watch the Kingdom be revealed to you.
Watch how I can work.
Watch how I can restore.
Watch my plans are higher than yours.
Watch and see…

For those in Joplin today, I'm praying for you.
I wish I could be closer to get my hands dirty.
Call on the Lord, and He will give you strength.

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