For those of us who live in Wilmington, NC we have the privilege of living at the beach. We also have a beautiful riverfront on the Cape Fear River. The Cape Fear River is a 202 mile river that flows into the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Fear (and this is where it gets its name). Many small rivers feed into the Cape Fear River. Because of Hurricane Flo, many small rivers overflowed into the Cape Fear River and caused flooding. This with the storm surge caused devastation in eastern North Carolina.
While the pictures and stories are devastating and sad we can all agree there are many blessings. The sense of community is amazing. People helping people. People helping animals. Neighbors helping neighbors. Strangers helping strangers. Businesses helping people. As soon as our church's power came on they started feeding the utility workers and community. This was done by members who wanted to serve. Most of us have experienced or witnessed these acts of kindness this past week. Before the storm when people are concerned, In the midst of storms or after storms we begin to see God at work in people. Luke 3: 10-11, "'What should we do then?' the crowd asked. John answered, 'Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.'" You do not have to look very far to see this scripture come to life!
These floods made me think of the little "rivers" in my mind that represent the stresses and burdens in my life right now. These rivers overflow into my heart and take over my heart and my mind. The water sits there because it has no where to go and becomes stagnant. It takes our comfort and peace away. There is a flooding of sadness and grief.
Isaiah 43: 2, "When you pass through the deep waters I will be with you. Your troubles will not overwhelm you." We know God is with us through these floods, whether water or burdens. He tells us that when the floods come we will be fine if we lean on Him. Matthew 7: 25, "And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house. But it did not fall because it had been founded on the rock." I am so grateful to have God's grace and mercy in my life!
After a while the flood waters naturally begin to recede, leaving everything either soaked or damaged. Now it is time to clean out and rebuild. Something we probably would not have done without the floods. We get rid of clutter that we held on to for too long. We put things in perspective and prioritize.
God wants to bring a flood to destroy and break away what has been dammed up in our heart to keep Him in check. Most times we are inconvenienced without power. There is no "escaping" to tv or social media. When the floods come, our “normal” is gone. He wants the water to rush into places we do not want to deal with. When the floods come, our “normal” is gone. The water washes away our walls we have built and comes crashing with a vengeance. Our pride is broken. We are more convicted. We are more aware of His grace.
Storms and floods will come and storms and floods will go but God's grace and mercy was here before the storm, during the storm and after the storm. He is our life raft! Hold onto to Him for peace, love and hope! God's flood redefines the landscape of our heart!