76 uncontrolled fires. Nine states. 12,500 square miles. The third worst group of fires in the past decade.
Hurricanes of different degrees. 27 trillion gallons of rain dumped on Texas (51 inches in four days). 75 billion dollars in damage. 72,000 people rescued. 450,000 victims.
I've never been a person who stays up-to-date with the news. I like to keep updated, but sadly, my frame of mind has been such that if the event doesn’t directly impact me, I’m not interested in anything more than the headline. But disasters in the world are intensifying and our planet seems to be becoming more like the world Jesus described would be present just before he returns.
The current news headlines aren’t comforting. Honestly, I'd rather jump into my bed and hide until the world is perfect again. Unfortunately, that’s not my reality. We don't have the luxury of living in an "ignorance is bliss" state of mind.
I’m so thankful that I haven’t experienced first hand any disasters and tragedies such as the recent hurricanes or fires. I lived in Guam for five years and never experienced a typhoon, yet many threatened the island and affected other areas around me. I praise the Lord that I do not have to understand what it feels like to lose everything. But then again, why am I afraid of losing it all?
When I was about 9 years old, I committed myself to Christ and was baptized into the Adventist church. I gave myself to Him and vowed to rededicate myself to him every single day. I wanted to have a relationship where I would be so full of Him that there would be no room for me. Easier said than done, for I’ve struggled with the surrender every day!
Over time, however, I became fearful of losing myself! I wanted complete control. I started relying on my own power to do things instead of trusting that God would help lead me through it all. It was as if, like in the Garden of Eden, I was choosing what the Serpent offered instead of following what God encouraged me to do. It was like the verse in Romans, “for I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing”
Even with these choices, though, I found God to be consistent. I began to understand why God wanted to lead in my life. He, my Father, has only the best of intentions for me and doesn’t aim to force me into things. I began to understand that, though I may fall and turn away, His love is always there.
Soon enough, I realized that God’s love is abundant. To me, it’s like a flood or raging fire. It’s something I can never control, and, unlike those things, never want to suppress.
We don’t have control of the things happening in this world. We don’t even necessarily have control of things in our own lives. But, one thing we do have control over is accepting abundant love from God. Soon this old world will pass away and, even if I lose all I have on this Earth but have Jesus, I’ve gained and will only continue to gain!
Kasondra Reel is a senior studying nursing.