Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 609 of Giving Thanks Daily - Guest Writer, Tom Jasinski

Father, we come to You and pray for our family in Missouri and all those who have gone through simlar disasters this year. We lift the Jasinski family up to You, as well as those surrounding them. We pray for Your great presence, moments of victory to be shared and healing and restoration of all that has been lost. We pray for the ministry of Tom and Anne-Lise for strength, perserverence, mercy and help as they need it, both emotionally and financially. We pray that through this storm's aftermath, You will be glorified and your favor revealed over and over. In the mighty and healing power of the Holy Spirit we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Thank you Tom and Anne-Lise for your friendship and faithfulness. You are amazing examples. 

“It’s Time to Plant Like Birds Do”
By Tom Jasinski

May 22nd, 2011 started out as normal as any day, but at around 6PM, a few seconds changed everything.  I had done nothing to prepare myself for the EF5 tornado that ripped right through the center of my town and my home.  When my family and I emerged from the bathtub where we had taken cover, we were greeted with the sights and sounds of war:  Houses toppling, fire, gas lines leaking, cars bombed out, people wailing.  I would later hear from several armed forces veterans that it reminded them of places like Baghdad, and that this was the only place they had been where you could turn 360 degrees and see nothing good.

After the initial shock wave passed, my first thought was, “We can start over!  We’ve started over so many times, we can do this.”  Friends who called to check up on us were stunned at my upbeat and confident demeanor.

As the weeks have passed since that fateful day, I have been challenged beyond my comprehension.  It’s one thing to start over, but it’s quite another to be slammed into that mode in a matter of less than a minute.  Not to mention the fact that we are doing this right alongside more than 20,000 other Joplin residents who are in the exact same boat we are.

In the struggle to find some solid footing in our “new normal”, as we call it around here, there have been many moments of frustration.  It’s hard to convey the feelings:  Moving through peanut butter, everything is harder, nothing seems to flow…  More than once, I have found myself at the end of my rope, overcome with the difficulty of trying to operate under such extenuating circumstances.

But out of the ashes of destruction, hope springs eternal.  We have watched a whole nation gather around our city and rush to our side.  The Church showed up, and the hands and feet of Jesus have been busy helping since moment one. We have personally received resources from absolute strangers (but friends now!) from Louisiana, Wisconsin, North Carolina, all over Missouri…  The list goes on (and hopefully we can find the list when it comes time to write thank you notes!)

The lesson that really sticks out in my mind right now is that we need to plant like birds do.  Matthew 6:25-34 says not to worry about the day to day stuff of life.  If God can provide for the flowers and birds, who don’t do anything to secure their well-being, how much more will He look after our needs? They just exist as God’s creation without trying to manipulate Him.

I can confidently say, almost two months after this catastrophe, that God has handled every detail.  If you have experienced a major disaster in your life, I am sure you know what I have learned so recently:  As you look back over those initial weeks, you see how little you were in control and how much God was.  That is a truth I don’t ever want to forget.  I am thankful my family and I experienced this tornado.  My ability to comprehend the direction of Matthew 6:33 is so much clearer. As I seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, as I live for relationship with Him and my neighbor, all the details get taken care of.

A ministry friend of mine from The Work of the People came up three weeks after the storm and made a film about what we are experiencing.  I have included the link here for anyone who is interested:

Shawn Delia Boreta

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I love people. My life has been spent seeking new friendships and helping others. God's gifting is being worked out into His plan for me. I am excited to share insights of His leadings and lessons.