When we first moved to these beautiful mountains of North Georgia, we thought we had it made. But after the first minor thunderstorm, our power was out for two days. Because we are on a well, that means no water. No hot showers, no internet or television. It was a big inconvenience the first time. Then it snowed, and the wind blew. The power went out for several days, and we were snow bound because the roads were closed. After this has happened for several years, sometimes for weeks at a time, we learned to take it in stride, and be prepared. Calamities like this are expected, and we are ready. During these times, we were thankful to God for what we did have, not what we didn’t have.
This year, Thanksgiving is an uneasy time for us, especially for Carla. While we are sitting down to a nice hot meal with family and friends, we can’t help but think about our family and friends in Florida. Even though they are no longer in the news, the homeless families, including some of our own, are still in Florida, still recovering from the hurricane that ripped their lives apart.
Carla’s hometown of Cottondale and nearby Marianna, Florida have been devastated, as were many of the surrounding communities. Her brother Jeff and her quadriplegic step dad rode out the 150mph winds of the storm inside their modular home. By God’s Grace alone, the walls withstood the storm while other homes around them were leveled. They had a portion of the roof torn off, and were without power, water and heat for three and a half weeks. Carla’s mother was in a medical facility at the time with stage four cancer. The power, water and heat were knocked out for her as well, and food was scarce, not just for her, but for all of the patients in medical facilities in the area. The local hospital was evacuated. Due to circumstances, we can’t get down there this weekend, but in the next few days following, we will. Had the path of Hurricane Michael traversed just a few degrees to the left, we would be in the same boat, and Atlanta would have been devastated. We are grateful that it didn’t.
Right now there are thousands of people in California in the same boat because of the fires. Homes are gone, lives have been lost and families uprooted. They have no water, electricity or food. Simply put, that means no hot showers, no hot food and no internet. We need to forget our own petty inconveniences and pray for all of these people, because they are still struggling, all of them, even after they are not in the news anymore. If we can help them in any way, we should.
The media makes it sound like FEMA and the insurance companies are on top of things. Nothing could be further from the truth. FEMA is dragging their feet because of protocol and funding, and the insurance companies are afraid of going broke, so they are hesitant to act, or they pick and choose who to help regardless of policies.
This Thanksgiving, if you can’t physically help a person in need, any person, at least, at the very least, pray. Pray for their comfort and restoration. Pray for them unceasingly.
And be grateful to God for what you DO have and quit whining about what you don’t have. Your life could be much worse.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving
(C)2018 Del Banks