The storm that came through the area just over a week ago laid down some destruction over at Maryville, Missouri. Straight-line winds and hail blew down trees and blew out windows, ripped up some roofs and left streets and lawns strewn with limbs and leaves. Closer to home, some sections of Saint Joe had streets closed for a while because of downed trees and power lines. The wind even toppled the communications tower at the highway patrol headquarters. Driving over in that direction through the river bottoms between Wathena and the Pony Express city, we saw other damage.
Hundreds of acres have been covered with water for three months now. Even though the Lord has kept the levees from breaching, rainwater and leaching has filled up the lower areas. Along the fencerows and in the woods, trees have stood now in that saturated fill all through the summer months. Even though they have stayed green and seem to show no ill effects yet, their vulnerability to other expressions of nature became quite visible the morning after the storm.
Along the bends and runs of Highway 36, dozens of cottonwood and elm trees lie across the ditches, limbs on the leeward side sunk into the mix of mire and water. Out across the fields, at the edges of the woods, even from the road you can see the handprints of the wind. Even though the roots were strong and solid, they had no chance against that eighty-mile-an-hour surge of the storm.
When the faith that anchors us has become too much mixed with the views of the world, when we dilute the teachings of Christ with the carnal concessions of the Church and we end up with this great eclectic that excuses disobedience and gives the opinions of human equal footing with the declarations of divinity, we destroy the foundation of life. Having substituted the swampy sands of life’s fickle currents for the sure standards of the Solid Rock, we ought not to be overly surprised to find ourselves face down in the muck of the ditch, unable to endure the storm nor to stand before him who has made us.
Unlike the trees that have no choice about where they face the forces that come against them, we do. We can move to higher ground.