On April 27, 2014, at about 7:00 PM Central Time, a tornado rated EF4 hit central Arkansas in the United States. The small towns of Mayflower and Vilonia were hit the hardest, and what’s especially hard is that Vilonia had been hit hard three years before. One victim of this tornado and the first tornado was still building his house after the first one, and when the second one hit, he didn’t have home insurance on the house yet.
Over the next few weeks, my family had taken several trips to both Vilonia and Mayflower, to help clean up. It’s hard to take it all in, and it will be harder still to rebuild.
I was within twelve miles of where and when the tornado hit. The track of the storm could have easily taken a 1°-10° turn to the left and we would be hit. We probably also would have been dead because where we were, our “safe place” wouldn’t have been safe enough.
This whole experience helped my faith. As I write this, it’s been two weeks exactly since the storms, and since then, the verse Jeremiah 29:11 has been on my mind. It says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares The Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.””
This verse assures me that God had a (good) reason for what He did. I already know that God drove the tornado, but no one knows why. But here are some possible reasons.
- He’s trying to show who’s the boss of the world (which is Himself). Our life on earth is fragile, and we forget to give God thanks for it.
- This is one of His many ways to get people to know Him. I’m sure there are several people who have been saved because of this.
And one more thing: all of the victims of this disaster lost almost all they had. This is why we never store up on earth.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:19-20 NIV