Amber Alert!

This morning both my wife and I received an automated text message for an Amber Alert for two young kids that had been kidnapped somewhere downstate. The scary thing to me was that by the time we got the alert, it was already a couple hours past when the incident happened. In those couple hours, that radius of where they could be got pretty big, and bigger with each passing minute. My heart always sinks when I get Amber Alert messages.

About two hours later I was looking into the details of the kidnapping and as I was looking, there was a news update that scrolled across the news website saying the kids were found safe and sound! Thank you, Lord!!! My first reaction was that Facebook and other social media sites weer a huge blessing here. Thousands and thousands of people had pictures within a short amount of time and the kids were returned safe. But, then my heart sank again as I had one of those “ah-ha” moments. I guess it didn’t really sink so much as my heart’s eyes were suddenly opened.

I told Erin that I’d be willing to bet Facebook (the only social media site I really use), would be lighting up with the Amber Alert by the end of the day, despite the fact that the kids were found safe and sound. I got two main points out of this: 1.) How often do we repost something, or go with the flow without checking into the actual facts of the situation. and 2.) While I’m ecstatic people are posting and reposting and sharing, why does nobody (or, at least very few people) post that the kids were found and safe? Sure enough, when I came home from work tonight, my Facebook feed was loaded with Amber Alerts for these kids, and aside from a couple news page thingys, there was nothing rejoicing in their safeness.

I then even took that farther and rhetorically asked my wife “don’t you think we do this in life all the time too?” I mentioned specifically our finances as a family and how so many times I look at the mountain of debt ahead of us, when instead I should be thanking God that I have a decent job that is helping me pay off those debts. Plus throw in the fact that throughout our years of marriage, we have been blessed financially so many times. God has provided so much for us over the years and kept us from some very hard financial times. We had one point where we had zero income and no job lined up for a couple months and God provided through a couple different ways. In fact, not only did we make it through without going farther into debt, we actually came out ahead and were able to pay off one of our credit cards!

Don’t get me wrong here, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with posting and Amber Alert and passing it on, just like there’s nothing wrong with looking at my mound of debt and trying to figure out a plan to get rid of it (though sometimes I probably look too much and let it stress me out). It’s good to have a plan. It’s good to pass along vital information that may save two little kids’ lives. But, it’s also good to rejoice and give thanks to the author of our very being. Thank you Lord for returning those kids and keeping them safe in times of doubt. Thank you also for providing financial security for my family and I, even if it does stress me out sometimes.

Some people complain to God for putting thorns among such beautiful roses, but others praise Him for putting such beautiful roses among the thorns. Which one will you be?

Be blessed. Be a blessing.

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