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An Observation on Iowa
Commentary By: John Terry (06.26.08)

I have watched, as have countless Americans, as the torrential rains that have pummeled the Heartland of America have brought devastation of epic proportions. Like Katrina, cities have been flooded, lives displaced, and family fortunes destroyed as nature's fury has been unleashed once again. My heart has gone out to those who have lost everything, and I continue to pray for those affected, as well as those responding to this disaster.


What has been missing from this national disaster is the outcry from Hollywood celebrities holding telethons to help restore Iowa's farmland and rebuild the lives of those who were devastated by these floods. The media has NOT blamed the federal government (for a change) for the failure of the levies that have wiped towns off the map and buried cropland in sewage, mud, and debris.


The people of Iowa have not demanded "free hotel rooms" in Chicago or St. Louis, nor are they "spitting in the face" of (nor shooting at) those who have come to their aid to bring comfort and compassion to the devastation. There is no public outcry for FEMA trailers or for the government to cow tow to their personal demands.


What we have not seen is mass looting and a marked increase in crime as a result of the devastation, like we saw in Katrina. What we have not seen is 24/7 news reporting of the devastation and seeking to sensationalize the tragedy that has struck the heartland. We have not heard outcries from those affected blaming the President, nor are Iowans an Missourians blaming the Government for their woes.


The people of the Heartland, for the most part, are people who understand what it is to be self-reliant and mutually reliant. God is still revered and respected in the Heartland, and people here understand the Biblical principle of community and sharing one another's burden. What we did not see in Katrina that we are seeing in the Iowa disaster is a refusal to blame any single person or the Government for their woes, and an acceptance that disasters happen and (rather than moan and complain), it is important to pick up the pieces and start over.


Having spoken with those who have responded both to Katrina and Iowa, many have commented on the marked difference in attitude of those impacted by the disaster. Where many of these responders faced a "what are you going to do for me" attitude during Katrina, they are being met with "how can I help you help others" in Iowa.


Any time there is a tragedy that strikes our nation, people suffer. And not everyone who was impacted by the devastation of Katrina (and are still impacted) were angry, vindictive, and ungrateful for what was offered. There were many who were grateful, helpful, and gracious. Yet the general attitude of those in the Heartland (as recognized by those on the front line) has been markedly different and responders have been met with appreciation and gratitude, and have not had to fear gunfire, assault, or violence.


Our Government has also learned from the mistakes of Katrina and its response to disasters since have been better coordinated and quicker. The people of Iowa have also made a conscious decision to get past the devastation that has beset them and get on with their lives, even though the impact to many of them will forever change their existence, as they (like those in Katrina) will be starting their lives over.


While the impact to the Gulf Coast has an economic impact on our nation, it will pale to the economic impact to the nation (and the world) as food prices will rise as a result of the crop losses this year, and in future years as land must be repaired (and equipment replaced) in order to replant the crops that feed our beef, chicken, hogs, and our families each and every day.


As the nation turns from its Biblical heritage, God's hand of protection is being pushed away by our choices. God's promise of provision and protection as outlined in His Word are conditional. It's what I call the "If, Then” conclusion. If we obey (make right choices), then we walk in God's blessing and He rebukes the devourer (enjoy good consequences). We are blessed, so we can demonstrate the goodness of God in the earth (as this brings men and women to repentance). If we disobey, we have chosen to step outside God's promise of provision and protection and we suffer ruin as a result.


It is not God doing these things as a punishment, but rather God allowing these things to take place as He will not impose His will on mankind. God's word has specifically outlined his expectations of us, and His promises if we heed His dictates and direction. As man continues to say, "We don't need you anymore, God!" by their actions and self-indulgent attitudes, God steps back and honors what His Word says. The "If, Then” Conclusion is a reminder of choices and consequences.


If we make wrong choices, we incur bad consequences as a result. If we as a nation don't like the consequences we are enduring, perhaps we as a nation should revisit the choices we are making (individually and corporately). God's not a liar and His word has not changed.


My parents practiced this principle with me as a child, and when I chose to disobey, I chose to participate in the consequences (punishment) that was to follow. Mom and Dad simply honored their word to me, but my actions prompted either the "blessing or the curse".


Just an observation;and food for thought.