As you may have heard, the traumatic bomb cyclone our country experienced a little over a month ago ravaged the Midwest.
In particular, Nebraska received the greatest impact with official states of emergency declared in over 70 cities, 65 counties and four tribal lands.
Massive flooding led to four dead and hundreds more displaced, not to mention the immense damage to property, including cattle and other livestock, the lifeblood of this ranching region.
And yet, due to one person’s viral prayer, God is showing up right in the midst of this radical circumstance — and you won’t believe how.
Surrounding areas in the states of Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin did not escape the excessive flooding that resulted from this cyclone. So many homes, ranches, and farms are beyond restoration.
One of the major losses of thousands in the area is the loss of their cattle herds. This was a source of livelihood for many affected in all four states.
Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the area to survey the damage to get government agencies working to help as quickly as possible.
God bless our government for every effort He works through them for our fellow countrymen and women. Pray God gives wisdom, compassion, and motivation to act on behalf of the Midwest as fast and efficiently as He would allow.
Prayer is extremely powerful.
It can bring the hope of heaven to hearts even just in the hearing. It is a reminder that God is God, God exists, and God is still in the business of loving us and can revive the most broken hearts.
Sometimes it takes just one person to act on God’s whisper in their heart to shift the perspective of a nation.
That seems to be the case for the Midwest, from one such rancher listening and responding to Spiritual hope.
One woman, Blaire DeBoer, was in just as much grief and mourning as her fellow Nebraska rancher natives when she recalled a shirt that had been circulated in 2017 during the wildfire aftermath in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
She posted a photo of the shirt, reading “God Bless the Rancher,” a simple phrase, on her Facebook page. Simply, to give reminder and voice to the millions silently crying out in the midst of that trial.
DeBoer continued with a prayer crying out to God with bold honesty:
“God, bless the rancher.
God, be with the rancher in Nebraska who swung open gates and drove away helplessly so his cattle could escape the rising waters.
God, comfort the rancher who rushed to load as many steers as possible before having to leave the last 100 to drown because he couldn’t get to them in time.
God, sustain the rancher who threw calves into hay lofts and enclosed trailers to save them from bitter cold and because he knew saving the calves would be easier than saving their mamas.
God, console the rancher who has watched his barns and buildings and equipment get picked up and carried away by rushing water.
God, carry the rancher who takes his tractor to go help his neighbor and himself gets washed away by a collapsed bridge, losing his life in the tide.
God, help the rancher that has to move his family to higher ground, but watches in despair as his cows look to him for help.
God, be with, comfort, sustain, console, and carry the rancher. God, bless the rancher. Amen.”
Very soon after DeBoer’s Facebook post, Donna VanLiere picked it up and with the platform God began in her life as the author of a popular book, “The Christmas Shoes,” it went viral.
The prayer gives space to the grief of ranchers who lost so much, some even their own lives.
We are all too familiar with the struggle with loss when we are called to release something from one season in order to enter the next — a child to college, a lost job, a soured relationship. Whether good or bad causes, there is a grieving.
There’s intense grieving when circumstances such as this cyclone are stealing life and you must also gather the strength to release hundreds of cattle you cared for but have an inability to save.
As flood waters rose, hundreds of ranchers released their livelihoods with only the reason and clarity God could give in the midst of those horrific moments.
The prayer included allusion to one story in particular, that of James Wilke.
Flood waters rising, Wilke sped on a tractor to free a motorist trapped in his car by the rising waters, only to become a victim himself as the bridge he rode collapsed beneath him after saving the motorist’s life.
“Not all HEROES wear capes or uniforms. I know a TRUE HERO who wore a T-shirt, blue jeans, work boots and drove a John Deer Tractor,” wrote Wilke’s friend Jodi Hefti.
So let’s too lift our spirits and voices to God and pray particularly for the hearts and lives affected. Pray for healing and specifically the internal healing God gives.
So many have read DeBoer’s prayer and already turned to God for hope. This is miraculous; pray salvations occur even as a result of this horror. Pray for bravery, strength, and wisdom.
If you feel called to give support to the emergency efforts in the Midwest, reach out to Love Mercy Do Justice. This group works in concert with Covenant Works Relief and has begun making every effort to heal and provide for this area.