I’ve always enjoyed spending time on the farm with my cousin, Aaron, in northeast Nebraska.  A few years ago I helped him lay down a new wood laminate floor in his living room.  Earlier this week I saw my dad who lives near my cousin in Nebraska.  Dad handed me what you see below and asked, “Do you recognize this?”

A Sad Gift

A Sad Gift

I immediately knew just what it was.  It’s a piece of the laminate floor that I had helped Aaron lay down in his living room.  My dad then told me that Aaron had handed it to him as a “gift” for me on the evening of June 16, 2014 … just hours after a huge tornado had destroyed the entire farm.  Nothing bigger than this remained.  Just looking at the piece of floor still makes my heart sick.

Yet, I share this story because there’s a silver lining to the storm cloud.  Aaron and his two children who were at home with him at the time took shelter in the basement of their house.  By the grace of God, they climbed out of the rubble without any serious injuries.  As I talked to Aaron soon after, he said, “God watched over us.  We lost our house and farm, but it was just stuff.  We still have what matters most … each other and God’s love.”  Aaron and his family have always had a clear understanding of life’s priorities.  Jesus is first and family comes right after that.  When we have those things, we’re truly wealthy and blessed.

It’ll be hard to go back to the farm in a few weeks and see how much is gone.  But, it’ll be a joy to go back and perform the wedding for my cousin’s daughter.  Life goes on.  What matters most endures.  The love of Jesus is constant.  His love is still uniting his children in marriage.  Praise the Lord for He is good … all the time!

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