The Lord Sits Enthroned Over The Flood
10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the LORD give strength to his people!
May the LORD bless his people with peace! Psalm 29:10,11(ESV)
A week ago, Sunday May 2, Emily and I stayed home on the second day of torrential rain in what was becoming the Nashville flood of 2010. Michael and Anna were on tour in Canada, and no one in the family living nearby could navigate around the closed roads to get to our house (which was a desirable place to be, since we’re high on a hill). I opened my Bible and asked God to give me understanding. Rivers were rising far past flood stage, churches had cancelled services, reports of widespread flooding and even deaths were coming in, and we had lost electricity for several hours. By the light of a gas lantern, I searched for references to “flood” in the Scriptures. What I found was not terribly comforting.
In nearly every instance, floods are a sign of destruction and/or judgment. Far beyond Noah and THE flood, God refers to floods in negative terms. Rain can be a sign of welcome blessing; too much rain usually means trouble. So, I asked the Lord, what does this mean? Although I didn’t have a clear revelation, I did sense that God said “Pray for mercy and protection for many.” And the verses above were hugely encouraging: God is king over everything and He will guard His children, He will be our peace. No need to ask why in this fallen world we have trouble, why the birth pangs Jesus promised would come closer in the form of natural and man-made disasters before He returns. Just be still and know…God is king over the flood.
And so I was not really surprised to hear of the miracle stories! The bedridden, elderly woman alone in her flooding home with water reaching her neck when a neighbor thought to check on her and pulled her to safety through her window – into his boat. Or the 10 year old girl who was swept into an 18” wide drainpipe which extended 36 feet, full of debris and jagged metal. She emerged on the other side unharmed and began breathing on her own after her dad pulled her out of the water. Or the story about my cousin’s family, who live a few miles away. They and the family across the street convinced a next-door neighbor and her young daughter to go with them to a relatives’ home, as water was rising to their porch level Saturday evening. She finally agreed, and at 2 am her home exploded and burned to the ground, due to a gas leak.
I could go on! God’s hand has been so evident, but no more so than in the tremendous response of the body of Christ in the Nashville area (and beyond!) The volunteer forces have been amazing, even to national news reporters, and the church has taken the lead in organizing, housing, feeding, cleaning, and loving. People are serving with time and resources, and offering hope. Please pray that we will be lifting up Jesus as we reach out to the victims of the flood so that He will draw them to Himself.
Finally, the pictures you see here (Flood Photos) are from a home I was privileged to help clean (and by “clean” I mean strip everything to the studs and concrete foundation). We found out that the owner was an 80 year old woman, who lived alone and had to be rescued by boat. She had recently suffered a heart attack, and was taken to the hospital soon after her rescue, feeling sick. They discovered cancer. Her daughter lives in the same neighborhood and lost everything as well. I found myself praying as I scraped and shoveled, that the Lord would heal her, give her peace and return her to a sparking “new” home. That will only happen with many volunteers and donated materials, since she, like almost everyone else affected, has no flood insurance.
We Smiths only lost “stuff” – Michael’s rented room full of instruments and stage gear at a downtown music storage business was severely flooded, and our Franklin studio had 2 ½ feet of water in the basement, knocking out the water heater, ac unit and ruining some “stuff.” I lost my new garden at the farm, and our front porch slipped a few inches. But our losses are minimal compared to those who lost loved ones and entire homes of memories. Besides your prayers, the people of 45 middle Tennessee counties could use financial help. And manpower, for those of you who can come! Samaritan’s Purse is set up to house volunteers, and you can go to their website to donate or sign up to help.
Blessings to all of you and thank you for how you’ve supported us, some of you for many years (what is it now, 28 years? Whoa! Are we that old?) Our prayer request now is for our neighbors in Tennessee…not just that they will survive all the trauma of loss, but that God will be glorified and many will come to salvation. The birth pangs are increasing, which only means we’re closer to seeing Jesus at His return. Sounds good to me!!
|TENNESSEE - 2010-05-16|
|DEBBIE, YOUR UN ENDING PRAYER'S FOR YOUR STATE AT SUCH A TIME OF DISASTER SPOKE TO MY HEART IN SO MANY WAYS, WE HAD A FLOOD HERE IN YOSEMITE MANY YEARS AGO AND WHEN YOU SEE SUCH A NATURAL DISASTER YOU REALLY SEE WHO IS IN CHARGE! OUR FATHER IS IN CONTROL AND YES I
SPECIALLY LIKED HEARING OF THE BIRTH PANGS AND HIS RETURN.
MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU ALL AND WITH MICHAEL AS HE AND THE BAND TOURS.
|by Rayma Torlano|
|God be with you - 2010-05-13|
|I did what you're doing while on a mission trip after Katrina. The human spirit is amazing. God be with you, the volunteers and all affected.|
|by Melissa Keegan|
|Mystery amongst Tragedy - 2010-05-13|
|How faithful He is. Thank you for sharing so beautifully. In 1994, I was affected directly by the Northridge earthquake. In my bedroom I had a "glass" shelf unit that fell down right in the path of my exit. Once the shaking was over, I walked across it to my closet for more clothes. NOT ONE PIECE OF GLASS PIERCED MY FEET. Water damage is so much greater. What the enemy means for evil the Lord will cause it to turn out for his good. I am praying for all the ways He would have me help. In the meantime, I will continue to pray for complete restoration and healing.|
|Debbie, - 2010-05-12|
|It's incredible to read the stories about the flood, and it is even more incredible to see the endless love and acts of kindness that you all exemplify. I've been following the story mainly on the internet- despite the media's minimal coverage, it has been amazing to see the manner in which TN is handling this catastrophe internally. As you said, 'God is king over everything', and 'He is king over the flood'; He is with you all as you recover from the devastation. We love you and are with you in this through prayers and financial support for TN. Thank you to you and your family for being such a great example! God bless you!|
|Flood in Nashville - 2010-05-12|
|I am praying for all people in Nashville who had loses. Although I live in South Africa I am deeply touched by what happened. Trust on God to help you to get through this tragedy. He will make you stronger and draw you closer to Him. May He bless all. Also praying for Michael and his team coming to South Africa. May he be glorified! God can still to miracles today.|
|by Ingrid Jooste|
|Debbie - 2010-05-11|
|You're words were very comforting to me and I'm not even in a flood. I came close as I was there the end of March.|
|by Lessie Aubrey|