At 3 a.m. on April 13, 2020, an EF-3 tornado ripped through the small town of Seneca, South Carolina, with the power to kill thousands and pick up entire homes off their foundation. The damage across Seneca was detrimental, and rebuilding is expected to take much longer with COVID-19 in full swing. The local plant that employed a majority of the community’s inhabitants, Borg Warner, collapsed in on itself and scattered in pieces across the property. Borg Warner’s production runs 24/7 with personnel at the plant at all times of the day, even at 3 a.m., however a week before the surprise tornado, the plant sent everyone home due to climbing COVID-19 dangers. If COVID-19 had not temporarily stopped onsite personnel, hundreds of citizens would have died in this natural disaster. Many no longer have their jobs or homes for the time being in Seneca, but they have come out with their lives.
While Christians have an eternity to cling to, it’s only natural to continue struggling with
the fear of current events. Amid such chaos, it is hard to see the face of the Lord through the fog of humankind’s mass disarray. While it has been bleak, and thousands have lost their lives to COVID-19, there is still good that can be seen. In the wake of a tornado, the citizens of Seneca have banded together to rebuild; 2020 doesn’t have to be the year of sickness and destruction, it can be the year of uncomfortability-turned-strength in Christ! Psalm 29:10-11 says, “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” I urge you to draw near to him in obedience and He will give you His everlasting peace, leading you through the fogginess of today. We do not know the outcome of such disasters, but we can know that God is on the throne and He will reign in justice, strength, and peace (all things the world could use right now). Let us lean into the chest of Jesus, the Comforter to the broken. You may have lost your job, your livelihood because of current affairs, but you too have come out with your life, and “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” (Psalm 116:2)
I, personally, have done a terrible job at being still and instead relied on anxious thoughts
and troubling news to direct my soul. It’s only natural to get caught up in the commotion, but it’s more difficult to stop and seek comfort from the One who has promised to provide it. Above all, I desire to seek the face of the Lord. In times like these it's of the utmost importance to do just that, yet I have gone and done the opposite. So, now that I’m finished panicking I choose to let God turn my discomfort into His strength so that I might relay it to those who have no eternity to cling to.
– Paige Bronander, Ten2 Project 2020 Participant & Storyteller