Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's sunny!

Okay, so the sun outside really has nothing to do with this post, but I thought I'd share the news. I've felt like we were living in England for the past week.

Not that I'm ungrateful for the rain; not after the drought we've had this summer. I'm thankful for every drop. But it's nice to see the sun, too. And it's nice when the mosquitoes go away for the day.

All the rain, of course, came from the hurricane season. I've heard bits and pieces of information about the flooding that's going on in Texas, and my heart goes out to those folks.

Locally, we're having our own news flash. A gas line or something was damaged by the last hurricane, and most of the gas stations in our area are completely out of gas. Yesterday was unreal. We were called by our good neighbor lady across the street a few hours before lunch, and warned that gas was going to go up to $5.00 by the next morning, and we'd better get some that day if we didn't want to pay $5.00 a gallon.

Mom thanked her, and we planned to stop by a gas station on our way home from our library outing that afternoon.

In the library, we heard several people talking about the gas situation, and they sounded worried enough to motivate Mom to get us out of the library and to the gas station quickly.

On our way to our tried and true favorite gas station, we passed several small country stations.

They had lines of up to five cars.

At tiny, out-of-the-way gas stations.

"Wow - look at that." We all pointed, and maybe even laughed a little at these panicking people.

Mom dropped me and several of my siblings off at the house, and took two siblings with her to get gas, then go grocery shopping.

They weren't laughing when they came back, a couple hours later.

"It's amazing," my brother told me, with wide eyes. "You wouldn't believe it."

"I didn't get gas," Mom said. "If I had stopped to get it, I still wouldn't have been home. Sheetz has lines of cars backed all the way out and down the road, and the gas station just up the road from there is completely out of gas."

"Out of gas?" My own eyes widened. Well, it was a little station. It must not have had much on hand.

"The man at the grocery store said he went to get gas, and he had to wait in line two hours," my little sister informed me.

"What has happened?" I asked.

"Apparently, a line has been broken by the hurricane."

My family has no antenna for our TV, since we only watch movies. We couldn't flick on the News to get more information.

But that isn't necessary, when you have computers, and friends and neighbors. The phone rang continually, and we exchanged news with several people. Everyone had the same story; gas lines down, prices skyrocketing, better get gas while you can afford it.

Dad came home from work. He, too, had by passed the stations, when he had seen the lines.

"I'll just pay a little more, and get gas tomorrow or something, after this dies down."

Mom and Dad weren't acting too concerned. I continued working on the pizza. My little sister hung around the kitchen, saying how glad she was that we still had some gas in the car and van, so we could get to church on Sunday, and Dad could get to work on Saturday.

During supper, our pastor called. He asked if we had gotten gas yet.

"Not yet," Dad told him. "I saw the lines, and figured I'd wait until later."

"Well, station after station is closing down because they're out of gas. You'd better get some while you can."

That sounded serious.

Dad and Mom left in the middle of supper, to get gas for both the van and car. The rest of us looked at each other, and decided to just enjoy our pizza.

I wondered to myself if this was how people had felt and acted when the stock market crashed during the Depression, and there were runs on the banks. Same scenario; get there while you can, 'cause the money is running out. I wondered what was going to happen.

Our parents returned sooner than we expected. They had found a small gas station where the price was still the same as yesterday. I have no idea why. They said there was no one in line, and they didn't have to wait a second.

Then we got online, and read up on what was happening. We found out that the problem was only local, and that trucks would be shipping gas in as soon as Monday. Leaders were advising people to take it easy, not to panic, but to be responsible in their driving habits until gas was brought in. They emphasized "this situation is only temporary."

We were thankful to hear that.

Later, just before I went to bed, I got online and searched for videos from September 11, 2001. I had been wanting to do that ever since the anniversary of the event.

I found several videos that had been filmed, not by news crews, but by individuals living just down the road, or standing there talking to the firemen and watching the fire. It made the whole event much more personal. It made me relive that day.

I remember every detail of where I was that day. I remember watching the news (after we dug the TV out of the closet where it was stored), and thinking "that looks like a war movie. This can't be really happening."

So many people. So many deaths.

I relived the horror of it last night.

It is good to remember. It is good to feel how helpless we are as a nation, and how our only hope of defense is the Lord Almighty. In the videos I watched, every bystander was swearing as they saw the towers come down. They called the Lord's name as they turned and ran from the oncoming cloud of smoke that filled the streets like a deadly river. I could hardly believe they would take the name in vain that they so desperately needed to be using in prayer at that moment.

Do you remember the days following 9-11? How everyone talked about prayer, and getting back to God? Remember how the talk faded slowly?

What happened?

Apparently, God only got America's attention for a short while. Even the tragedies of 9-11 weren't big enough to change our direction for good. Are we going to be like the nation of Israel, and simply ignore all the warnings, until He has no choice but to destroy us?

These are the thoughts that have been going around in my head since yesterday. People talk about how we need revival in America. Amen. We do need it. But what is revival? Weeping? Praying? More people coming to Christ?

How do we pin it down and define it?

The nation of Israel had revival, in Nehemiah 8. They begged to hear the word of God, and then they obeyed it. This is what we need. Obedience. It is better than sacrifice.

We are blessed with more Christian literature, Christian radio, and TV preachers than any other nation. We don't need more of that. We need to obey what we already know.

I need to obey what I already know.

He says to preach the gospel to every creature. Am I witnessing to every person I meet?


He says to live a holy life. Am I holy?

No. Not always.

He says to hate evil. To fight it. To refuse to even be tainted by it. Do I do that?

Not always.

So... Am I surprised that there is no revival in my life?


But at least I know what to work and pray towards. God helping me, I will.


Sarah said...

My, what an adventure you all had, Amber! I am glad that the situation was not serious and that everything is all right now!

The last part of your post was convicting . . . what God requires from us is obedience. Obedience to His Word. And if we love Him we will strive to be obedient! "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. " (1 John 5:3). May true obedience to our Lord be desired and lived out in all of our lives!

Amanda said...

I was also thinking of the events from 9-11-01 this past week. And, like you, I was wondering, "When will America wake up and realize that we have turned our back on God??? And when will I wake up and realize where I could be but am not because of apathy in my life??" It's a convicting thought!