Least a Worse Thing Come Upon You

 Lake Worth, FL

We never know what tomorrow holds, but as the old song goes, “I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand.”
Last week everyone was staring at cell phones, glued to televisions and computers watching the news to see where Irma would go and to see how devastating she would be…hitting islands at Category Five strength leaving death and destruction as she went…I was glued to the news as well. Living in the West Palm Beach area I was especially eager to see and know what we should do. I prayed. “Lord, do we go or do we stay?” I heard a loud, “GO, GET TO HIGHER GROUND!” Well He didn’t have to tell me twice. I started gathering medicine and important papers, packing clothes and things that I held dear to my heart but only the most important things that I could pack in our car. I loaded it down. We took food and water for the trip and headed to Tallahassee. We stayed on the Turnpike until the traffic got to be to slow then we got off and found another route…normally a seven hour trip it turned into sixteen hours. We made it to Bob’s daughter’s house feeling tired but safe. Then we hear the news that Irma was going to come to Tallahassee…WHAT?
We prayed some more…but we didn’t hear God say to leave and we felt secure in our decision to stay there. It turned out just fine.
On our way home we saw trees down along the way…water covered the highway in one spot but we got through it without stalling…all fast food places were closed because there was no power. We took potty breaks at Wal-Mart and Publix grocery stores they seemed the less crowed. The gas stations that had power had long lines and frazzled nerves of people trying to get gas to get back home. Policemen were directing people as they got in the long lines for safety…But right in the middle of the highway as we were driving, a young guy in a little red car decides to come all the way from the right-hand-lane and does a U-turn in front of us as we are driving in the far left hand lane…just so he could pull in front of a person in the gas line…he not only endangered his life but ours as well, it was so close…thank God we all dodged that bullet…
We were not able to get gas until ten hours later when we made it to Lake Worth it was eight o’clock at night. We heard that Sonny’s Bar B Q was open so we went there for take-out. They said it would be ten minutes but it was over thirty minutes. We had not eaten any real food all day; my blood sugar was going low…the place was closing and this server looked at us and said, “What are they waiting for?” I had, had enough; I looked at her and said, FOOD!
Then I went out the door and left Bob to deal with it…I was carrying a large glass of iced tea, I got in the car and set it between my legs. Bob came to the car with the food and as I reached to unlock the door, somehow I squeezed the tea and it all came pouring out all over me, it was so cold in my nether parts I thought I was going to pass out…I got out of the car dripping and tossed the remainder of the tea on the ground…then I heard the Holy Spirit say, “You were wrong, your attitude is wrong and if you think this is bad, you better get yourself right or a worse think will come upon you.” I felt horrible all I kept seeing was the face of that poor server asking what we needed. It wasn’t her fault. She had been working hard all day with hungry, tired, irritable people and I had over reacted to her question…God I’m sorry, please forgive me.
We pull into our driveway where a loud generator was blaring next door but we had no power…our windows were boarded up so we called, Bob’s mom, she had electricity and said we could come there. Thank the Lord. What if she had not had AC? What if her power had been out? What if I had not repented?
We get there and I was still feeling the effects of the ice tea and I said, “We’ve been through hell…she said, “Well there are other people a lot worse off…” again I got angry …I yelled at Bob and then said, “I’m sorry…I’m tired and wet and going low…I’m just not myself…please forgive me.”
I changed my pants…we ate and everything settled down.
But I kept hearing…a worse think could come upon you…I kept praying, “Lord, help me, I’m sorry, I’m really trying…help my attitude to be better…I don’t want anything worse to happen…”
God chastens those he loves…I’m not saying God sent the storm, I’m not saying God made my tea spill or made our order take longer, I’m not saying that he caused all the devastation in the Atlantic, all I’m saying is that He will use these things to show us our heart…and if our heart is not right…then we have to change and let him transform us from the inside out. Now, I plan to get a gift card and take it to that server and hope she will accept my apology.
We can’t fix everything that has happened over the last week. We can’t bring the dead back to life. We can’t stop suffering…But we can help to rebuild those who are feeling the impact more than what we have. We can be kind and courteous we can be better than we were before. Stop complaining about politics and religion and start showing God’s love to everyone we meet.
None of us is perfect…we are all human, with human emotions and physical and spiritual needs…the only thing we can do is humble ourselves, ask for forgiveness when we mess up and be a blessing to others less fortunate than we are.
Hard times will come, storms will come, trails and hurts and pain is just a part of life…they will come…
You know some of us are sitting watching from a far, I watched Harvey hit Texas and felt awful for all those hit by that storm. It wasn’t a week later I was the one running for safety. I just want to caution you that disaster can come at any time and any place…We can’t live in fear but please be compassionate towards others…show empathy to those in harm’s way…for the grace of God it could be you.
Nerves may sizzle, some things we have control over and some we do not. But we do have control over how we respond. Decide right now to have a positive attitude no matter what comes…and everything will be so much better for you. After all you don’t want a worse thing to come on you. I know I don’t.
But don’t beat yourself up if you failed through this storm to be as kind as you’d like when confronted with the conflict. Just try to learn from it and do better next time. Because I promise you there will be a next time.
I praise God our families are all safe. That is the most important thing. Minor inconveniences, those can be fixed and replaced…Life, is so much more important. Please keep praying for the ones who were hit by death and property loss, no water and no food. Pray for those who are helping in the recovery process. God bless you!
~Marla Shaw O’Neill September 18, 2017

I love the Lord Jesus Christ and am passionate about writing. I hope you enjoy the blog and come to visit often.
Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.
“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2: 2-4

%d bloggers like this: