Despite tragedies, best is yet to come for state

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

Last year when tornadoes ripped through our state devastating areas and damaging lives, it did not destroy our spirit. If anything, it made us stronger.

It brought about a spirit of giving, helping, praying — acting on those principles toward a solid common bond — the need to rebuild and restore.

What was a horrible event in the life of our state became a shining moment, an example to the rest of the world of what good people, neighbors, businesses, churches, politicians, families, universities, athletes, friends and even rivals do in moments of great devastation. They work selflessly together, they share, they give, they help and they genuinely care.

In the Bible, in the book of Haggai, when the Jewish people were finally allowed to return from exile, the first thing they started doing was rebuilding their houses, but they had not yet begun to rebuild God’s temple.

When Haggai told them it was time to rebuild the temple, he assured them that it would be far greater than the one before — even though it would not be the same, it would be better. It was because God would fill it with His glory.

In Haggai 2:8-9, the Lord says, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine . . . the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house.”

So it is with our state — every area and every person affected by the storms. They will all be greater after the storms than they were before because they have all been rebuilt, restored and renewed by the hands and hearts of so many people who came together to help. As a result, God will be glorified and will fill our state and each person affected with His glory.

There is an old toast that says, “May the best of your yesterdays be the worst of your tomorrows.” So it is that I wish for our state to be better off in the future that it has ever been in the past — more glorious and prosperous than ever.

When it comes to our great state, I am confident that the best is yet to come!

Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at bethchapman@bellsouth.net.