Sunday, March 10, 2013

Trials And The Groaning Of All Mankind

The Dust Bowl covered 300,000 square miles of territory located in Kansas, Texas, western Oklahoma, eastern Colorado, and New Mexico. In the hardest-hit areas, agriculture virtually ceased. With successive storms, the wind and the flying dust cut off wheat stalks at ground level and tore out the roots. Blowing dirt shifted from one field to another, burying crops not yet carried away from the wind. Cattle tried to eat the dust-laden grass and filled their stomachs with fatal "mud balls." The dust banked against houses and farm buildings like snow, and buried fences up to the post tops. Dirt penetrated into automobile engines and clogged the vital parts. Housewives fought vainly to keep it out of their homes, but it seeped in through cracks and crevices, through wet blankets hung over windows, through oiled cloths and tape, covering everything with grit. Hospitals reported hundreds of patients suffering from "dust pneumonia." The black blizzards struck so suddenly that many farmers became lost in their own fields and suffocated, some literally within yards of shelter. More than 350,000 people fled the Great Plains during the 1930s. These "Okies" loaded their meager household goods and struck out along famous highway Route 66 for California.

The Dustbowl took place in the 1930s, the forties gave us WWII, the Vietnam war took place in the fifties and sixties while other calamities raged throughout the world during those days and up to the present. When we go through trials of any sort we should remember that difficulty and instability are normative. Instead we tend to draw in on ourselves. We adopt an artificial world view that imagines trials and tribulations the rarities while health, riches and abundance are what we deserve.

God gives a sobering view of this life in the eighth chapter of Romans; “For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longings of the creation…For the creation was subjected to futility…For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers…Even we ourselves groan within ourselves…”

I am finding that life goes down easier if I keep hardship in perspective. It’s a battle to shake myself out of my little selfish perspective. Keeping a biblical worldview is helpful. Viewing life through the lens of history should be easier too when I consider that my mother came to the United States after fleeing her homeland with her family and one large wooden trunk full of valuables.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.---1 Peter 4:12

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