Herald JournalColumns
April 17, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

God - a Master in ‘debris removal’

By Rev. Lyndon Korhonen, Good Shepherd Free Lutheran, Cokato

I recently returned from a mission trip to the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged southern coast of the US. In conversations with home and trailer owners in Waveland, Miss., I would ask them if it was hard to see “our” skidloaders demolish their dwelling places, or was it time to move on?

After six months of looking at and mourning the loss of their homes and belongings, every person said it is still very hard, but yes, it is time to move on.

Kevin and his wife lived on the bayou, and the water surge had climbed past the 9-foot stilts on which their house had stood. The water rose 10 feet into their home.

They had gutted the inside of their home and thrown the debris into piles off the deck, where it had remained for six months in their yard. It was a daily reminder of the devastation of Katrina six months ago.

Kevin and his wife are rebuilding as they can afford it, but the pile of debris has its own odor and memory of destroyed personal belongings. Kevin wanted to do whatever he could to help us get the skidloader into tight quarters to get that debris out to the road to be picked up.

How long have you lived with some devastation of the past that is a daily reminder of a hurt or a failure? Is it festering in your spirit and robbing you of the joy of a new day?

Kevin had to stop by the Camp Katrina office to ask for help. You only need to ask the Lord to bring in His “skidloader” to remove your hurts and failures, and He will take them.

Kevin did not try to grab for decaying belongings as the skidloader’s jaws hauled away the debris. We, too, must let God take our pain and burdens. 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

Our tendency is to give our burdens to the Lord in prayer, but as we say “Amen,” we grab them back, and our minds want to drift back to them. We need to admit that the “haul” of those decaying memories is too much for us, and daily give them to the Lord.

We can’t control life, but God can help control the debris removal from our heart and mind.

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