Last week was definitely not a normal week in Dayton, Ohio. For most of us, Monday probably began like most Memorial Days do. It was a day off. We took time to remember those who have fallen in defending freedom. We celebrated with family and friends and may have enjoyed the afternoon at home or on the lake. But, for some of us, how Monday ended was very eventful to say the least. And because of that, life may not be the same ever again.
The series of tornadoes that came through Montgomery and Greene counties affected at least seven of our families at Kettering. The amount and degree of damage varied, but thankfully, no one was injured.
It has been so refreshing to see everyone rally behind those who were in the path, providing generators, food, water, ice, laundry and/or lodging, and cleaning up limbs and debris. So many of you actually responded, that it is impossible to list every person here. No one had to beg for help. Everyone just rolled up their sleeves and went to work. This is what Christians do. It’s what makes our Kettering family family.
If anything, driving around town this week and seeing the destruction should serve as a very visible reminder of the temporary condition of our world. What we have today may be gone tomorrow. This not only includes our possessions, but our life! You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes, James 4.14. Such events should serve as a reminder of how small and helpless we are. We are not in control … God is. We are dependent on Him for everything in life. Dramatic things like these should also remind us never to take anything for granted. Life is too short and fragile to hold grudges and stay away from those who we should love the most. Kiss your spouse and hug your kids. Let your family know how much you love them. Invest in their lives. There is no time in the future that is guaranteed.
Hard times are what bring us together. Days of difficulty are where we have the greatest opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others (Matthew 25.35-36; Romans 12.14-15). Thank you for your encouragement to those who are tired and hurting. True discipleship and loving service are genuine marks of this congregation. It is a blessing we should praise God for with the spirit of continual thankfulness.