How Do You Turn Around A Disaster?
“As your days, so shall your strength be.”
Thomas A. Edison held 1093 patents. His inventions included the phonograph, the electric light bulb, and electric storage batteries for vehicles.
In 1914 Edison's factory in West Orange, New Jersey, had a massive explosion. Much of his life's work went up in smoke and flames. Richard Feloni wrote that Edison told his son Charles, “It's all right. We've just got rid of a lot of rubbish.” Later, at the scene of the blaze, Edison was quoted in The New York Times newspaper as saying: “Although I am over 67 years old, I'll start all over again tomorrow.” And “start” over the next day was exactly what he did!
The Thomas A. Edison website states that he operated on several simple principles that were taught to him by his loving mother. One of them was: Never get discouraged if you fail. Learn from it. Keep trying. It is obvious that those principles were firmly instilled within him. He did not wallow in discouragement because of what he had lost, but he had hope to look beyond the disaster to the next morning to begin re-building the factory.
Christians have an important belief system instilled within them through the power of God. It is faith, and with faith, there is hope. Hebrews says: “What is faith?” It is the confident assurance that what we hope for us going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.”
The following are four examples of how each one dealt with disaster and discouragement. In Psalm 39 David asked: “And so Lord, where do I put my hope?” He continued on and answered his own question: “My only hope is in You.” Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying: “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” The Puritans believed in an omnipresent God. He was a God that was everywhere they were. In Genesis Job said: “Surely the Lord is in this place.” All four examples show confidence in the fact that our God is faithful to us.
To summarize an old yellowed newspaper clipping: when we have sorrow, God gives us comfort; for our tiredness, He gives us rest. He extends His company to offset our loneliness. He turns trials to treasures, losses to gains, and disappointments to anticipations. These are His promises to us so we will have hope and courage to press on. That is our Almighty God!
So when a disaster is confronting you, and discouragement begins to set in, go to your knees and ask Him for the courage to see beyond the disaster. Our God is Yahweh Yireh (The Lord will provide), the provider. We need to have the confident assurance that the Lord is faithfully with us when disaster strikes and discouragement tries to set in. We need to look directly into the disaster and say: even though I cannot yet see Him, “Surely, the Lord is in this place”. I know He will provide to me the courage to look past the “smoke and flames” and I will be able to say: “I will keep trying, and I'll start all over again tomorrow.”
Lord God, thank You for assuring us that You are always with us even in the face of disaster. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington