New beginnings

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by Paula Harrington

I spent a few days in Central Oklahoma recently. Like you, I had seen the news reports and watched how the E5 tornado had torn through that area.

I soon learned that televised reports failed to do justice to the level of destruction.

It is overwhelming and heartbreaking to see the piles of wood, nails, and debris that were only so recently beautiful homes and manicured lawns. In a matter of minutes, nature reduced them to piles of rubble.

As we drove through the neighborhood that surrounded the Plaza Tower Elementary School, one house caught my attention. The siding had been ripped away leaving gaping holes.

The garage was barely standing, but written in black paint on a piece of plywood that leaned against the house were the words, “God bless our new beginning.”

Their powerful message of resilience is a promise that they will begin again and will succeed. Not because of faith in their own abilities but because they have put their trust in a God bigger than the storms of this life.

Our God promised never to leave us even when our days knock us off our feet and grief takes away our breath.

Later, as we helped a few of the families, my gaze was drawn to the long road before me Miles and miles of rubble stretched out before me in every direction. Entire neighborhoods ravaged.

It was then I thought of one of my favorite stories.

A man was walking along the beach and came upon a young woman who was carefully picking up starfish and throwing them back into the sea. The man watched this for awhile and then observed the miles of stranded starfish lining the shore.

Finally he spoke, “You’ll never be able to help all of them.” The young woman never even looked his way as she threw another starfish into the water and answered, “No, but I can help this one.”

There are many people in this world marooned on a deserted shore. Due to physical or spiritual storms, their lives have been reduced to rubble. Their view is clouded with anxiety and sorrow. And they are in desperate need of a new beginning. You won’t be able to help all of them. But you can help one.

  • When storms threaten, turn to the composer of new beginnings.
  • Walk with Jesus as he healed those he touched.
  • Follow him through the pages of your Bible.
  • Resolve to follow him through your own life.
  • Take him to those who are struggling.

Thank the God of new beginnings and ask for strength to move onward regardless of the rubble that litters your path. Only he can heal our hurts.

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Paula Harrington

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