There are definitely two sides to nature. I tend to focus on the beautiful and inspirational side but there can be no denying that there is also a harsh and destructive side as well. The recent flood here in Pike County has forced me to look at the destructive side.
Yesterday I had a chance to visit and photograph some of the areas hardest hit by Saturday’s flash floods. There were numerous scenes, like the one pictured above, that revealed just what a powerful force nature can be. I saw many homes and vehicles that were destroyed by the raging water. I am utterly amazed that so few people died as a result of this storm.
Despite all of the devastation I hesitate to refer to nature’s fury as being bad or evil. It simply is what it is. The powerful forces of nature (floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, etc.) have existed from the beginning of Creation. They have also helped shape and form the beauty of the landscapes we enjoy so much. In times of crisis it’s hard to admit but the truth is you cannot have the beautiful and inspirational side of nature without the harsh and destructive side as well. It’s a package deal.
This morning I spent quite a bit of time dealing with flood relief issues. While driving home for lunch I was feeling stressed and burdened for those who are suffering. As I pulled up in my driveway I noticed several new beautiful magnolia blossoms on the tree next to our house. I got my camera and photographed the image you see here. This gorgeous white flower seemed quite a contrast to the scenes I photographed yesterday.
The apostle Paul once wrote, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18) I don’t think Paul meant we’re supposed to give thanks for bad things that happen to us but that no matter what comes our way we should maintain an attitude of thanksgiving. Even in tough times there is always much to be grateful for.
I cannot give thanks for the devastation Saturday’s flood caused but it certainly doesn’t stop me from offering thanks today for God’s gift of Creation. Nor does it keep me from affirming, as God did over and over again in Genesis 1, the goodness of Creation. Once again, it is a package deal and I remain thankful for the package.