Archive for October, 2011

The Guilt of Survival……..

There is a time that strikes our hearts with a sense of guilt…for surviving something. It could be life, it could be having a house when others were flooded, it could be for keeping a job when others were laid off, it could be living when someone else died.

It is not an easy road, this life we live. “In this world there will be trouble” and wherever we go and whatever we do we will run “face first” into it. The question is not what the circumstances of the trouble are, the question is how do we deal with it. Do we scream and curse, or do we help out, oftentimes going beyond what we even think is possible, or do we collapse and crumble under the onslaught.

Many of the people in Minot have had their homes destroyed by flood waters sweeping in under unprecedented circumstances. Many have found themselves in shelters, and others in a friend or stranger’s home. Some are living in tents, or campers or doorways, or in vacant flood damaged buildings.

Yesterday, I found I was one of those who was blessed with a little “rectangular box house“, courtesy of the federal government. (although I am thinking I may have actually paid for it many times over) It arrived on wheels, was jacked up and placed on concrete blocks. Someone came and hooked up a water line, a sewer line and electric. Someone built a wooden deck, someone put in an pole that the electric was hooked to, someone dug a ditch and buried the electric line. Someone put vinyl soffit material cut in pieces around the bottom of it to “skirt it” or close it in for winter. I doubt seriously that the people doing this have ever spent a winter in North Dakota….but they did what they did, and for that I am grateful!

The “little box house“, has a furnace, a stove and fridge, kitchen cabinets (although since I am short, I can only reach one cabinet), a kitchen and bathroom sink, a shower, beds, a couch and a table and chairs a closet with a place to hang things, and hook ups for a washer and dryer……It is an interesting little house. The walls are all covered in multi-brown colors, and it is smooth and easily cleaned surface….I suppose if you were writing a description of it, you would call it “Multi-colored” neutral!

One of the most interesting things it comes with is a weather warning system. If a tornado is approaching the warning system is activated (don’t ask me how….it is one of the many things I just don’t know) There is a white light that will start flashing and I am guessing that if it goes off, there is not one chance in a million that you will not hear or see or know that a tornado is approaching. What to do if that happens….is questionable…..first you have to survive the warning signal, and next take shelter. In my case, I am guessing the only shelter would be in the basement of my house which has just undergone massive flood damage, and where I would prefer not to be…..I don’t think it will go off if a blizzard is coming….in which case I really don’t want to be in the basement at all…

Today, my “little box house” is my castle! It is one of those places that I have never said….”gee, I would love to live in a little box house!” Well…that is not actually true….when you have no place to go and winter is coming, and you know it….you wish for a “little box house” or anything that will keep you warm, as the days turn cooler. It is downright cold at night even now.

I feel guilty….there are so many people who have no where to go. Some of them have little children. Some of them are so tired of the living arrangements they have that the relationships they have with those they are living with, are quickly going downhill. It is not a good thing. There were supposed to be two thousand of these “little box houses” all set up and occupied by now. I think it was about 12,000 people who are without a home.

It is only a matter of time before a good number of people who call Minot home, will be forced to leave. Death comes to those without heat and shelter, in the winter in North Dakota. It is hard to leave here…there are jobs HERE, lots of jobs…..the rest of the nation is struggling with no jobs…..What to do? Oh What to do? Stay where the jobs are…and freeze or go where there jobs aren’t and starve. Wow…what a choice!

Trouble…“in this world there will be trouble”……”but be of good cheer for the Lord God delivers us from them all!”

One of the real problems with each of us, is that we discover as times become more difficult, and the options begin to disappear, we become more self-centered. We loose track of other peoples needs and begin to only see OUR needs. When we recognize that, we begin to “feel” guilty! I think that the “feelings” we have are satan’s way of trying to beat us into the ground and destroy us.

Of Course, you should be concerned about yourself and your family, or group. It is your job to take care of those in that group. It is how it is supposed to be. Each person is to be responsible for those around them, and from that circle reach out to others…..but first we have to take care of ourselves. Without taking care of ourselves, we would be unable to be of any value to others. The Golden Rule says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We usually only see…..love your neighbor…and miss…the part about loving yourself. That Word tells us that it is “normal,” “expected” and “ordinary” that we love ourselves….FIRST!

So today, or tomorrow…or whenever it comes that you have something that someone else doesn’t….don’t let satan destroy you with “guilt”. Jesus came, forgave sin, and took away guilt. That’s as true today as it was the day he did that! Guilt is satan’s way of trying to “kill you”, “steal from you” or “destroy you!” Don’t allow that to happen. Instead of “feeling” guilt that you have something that others don’t have, rejoice, be happy…you have what you have, whether it is life, hope, love or a “little box house.”

In my case I have a “little box house“ aka FEMA TRAILER…..but there is room inside for another person….or perhaps two, or maybe even 3. The couch I thought I had, is really a hide-a-bed….so there is room for someone else. For those who are waiting for their “little box house” to come….perhaps I could share mine, so they have a place to wait. Through it all, we will grow, we will be frustrated, gracious, kind, angry, and hurt. But we will come through this valley, and on the other side….we will realize how we have changed. We will realize that the things that were important once, are no longer and other more vital things have taken their place. We will be better for what we have experienced, what we have learned, what we have endured. We will find we are strong and courageous, and if we allow ourselves, and draw closer to Jesus, we will find that He has provided all that we need!

So for today…let’s not let the “guilt of survival” overcome us, but let us ask….who can we help, until help comes for them? And eventually…..when once again, you have your space to yourself….enjoy it…be free…and be Thankful to God, because He has given us “All that He is, was, and always will be! Above all, remember….we are to Him and then to LOVE OURSELVES….

Be glad! Be cheerful! Be thankful! But don’t be guilty! You survived, and are exactly where you are supposed to be……Be Free!

Blessings to you all,
Prayyior

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The Guilt of Survival……..

There is a time that strikes our hearts with a sense of guilt…for surviving something. It could be life, it could be having a house when others were flooded, it could be for keeping a job when others were laid off, it could be living when someone else died.

It is not an easy road, this life we live. “In this world there will be trouble” and wherever we go and whatever we do we will run “face first” into it. The question is not what the circumstances of the trouble are, the question is how do we deal with it. Do we scream and curse, or do we help out, oftentimes going beyond what we even think is possible, or do we collapse and crumble under the onslaught. (more…)