Forgive me when I don’t know the full story. This morning, in so many words I told someone who had to ride out one of the recent hurricanes, that I was so glad they just lost power instead of their lives or their home. Then I was reminded the trauma that goes deeper than what appears on the outside. I should know that even though someone may look OK on the outside that things can be a whirlwind on the inside. After reading someone else’s post of the emotions that go on for quite a while after the storm has passed, I remembered what it was like when our home caught on fire. We were all physically unhurt. We didn’t lose all our possessions. Yet every little spark caused me to panic for months afterwards. I could smell the smoke long after it was cleaned. I had flashbacks of standing in the front yard with my family with no shoes, in our swimsuits thinking this was all we would have in the world as the fire raged. Everything in me wanted to stop the firemen from crawling into our burning home to save our material things and I wanted to yell, “It’s not worth your lives!”
How often do people look fine on the outside after a death of a loved one, during a traumatic illness, after a car accident or other traumatic event? I can’t help but think of all those who have gone through one of the recent disasters (hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes…) and know that even though they say they are fine, there is so much more going on deep within their souls. They may not even know yet how to express it or how it will alter their lives. We may care deeply about them, but we do not know the aftermath of these critical life experiences and how they will affect each individual person. Obviously, there are those who lost loved ones or all they had. It will take years to grieve and go on. Even the ones who look OK, will have to go through surprising emotions as they deal with the aftermath of what could have been; how to survive until food, gas, medical help and shelter get worked out; how to deal with the flashbacks, panic and uncertainty. Though we look upon the outward appearance to evaluate how someone is doing, we have no idea what goes on deep in the heart, mind and soul of a person.
But You do, Lord! There is absolutely nothing hidden from You. When no one else understands what we are going through…You know. When we can’t even figure out our thoughts and emotions…You know us better than anyone else ever could. Whether we look ok to others or not…You know what is going on. When it seems like no one could possibly know what we are going through…You know. When it seems there’s no way out of our circumstances…You invite us to hold on to You, the One who created, us, knows us, loves us and died on our behalf so we could never be separated from You. Whether it looks like a disaster to others or not, You are our shelter, our refuge, our Safe Place, our Provider, our Savior, our Counselor, our Guide through it all. And You completely know us and love us. Help others come to know, trust and love You during this time during and after the crisis. Real life is getting to know the One who KNOWS us!
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” Romans 8:26-27
“O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit down and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely, O Lord.” Psalm 139:1-4
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13
Father, search me deeply and help me in ways no one else can….