Fall 2010

Fall Devotional


He reached down from heaven and rescued me;

he drew me out of deep waters.  

Psalm 18:16 


Rain, rain, go away

Come again some other day


May 1-2, 2010 are dates that will not be forgotten quickly in Nashville, Tennessee. They are days that the “Rain, rain” did not go away and in fact stayed and stayed until the city flooded in what is now referred to as the Flood of 2010.  A stubborn and stagnant weather pattern poured rain down on Music City for two solid days and over 15 inches of rain fell in just a few hours.  The ground couldn’t absorb it all, nor could the rivers handle it, and so city streets, homes, and even a couple of interstates were deluged with water.


I should have seen it coming.  On March 5, 2007, while having a quiet time, God said LOUDLY to me, “Don’t fear the coming flood.”  Really!  It was so obviously the Lord speaking (I certainly wouldn’t have come up with these words on my own) that I wrote them in my Bible along with the date.   Funny, but the first thing I did when God gave me this thought was to be afraid – even though he said not to fear.  Would it be a flood of health problems, I wondered. A flood of despair from job loss?  Or maybe a flood of overwhelming circumstances?  I honestly never thought it would be a freaking real flood or I would have taken out flood insurance!


The flood was devastating.  We had two feet of water in our house and five feet in the garage.  What a mess.  And we lost about half of what we own and estimate the flood cost us over $30,000 and we’re still adding it up.  Furniture, mattresses, our washer and dryer, clothes, shoes, household items, books, memorabilia, pictures, musical equipment, office equipment, and more were all ruined.  We tried to get as much as we could off of the floor and elevate it onto storage shelving but there was only so much room to put things up.  The rest was submerged in water or floated away to who knows where.


As the flood waters rose around our house, Terry made multiple trips through the water to take out things we could save.  The water, filled with debris and even sewage, was also home to a water moccasin snake that hung around our front door.  Finally he slithered into the house and Terry was ultimately forced to kill it with a shovel in the dining room!


It’s hard not to ask why in the midst of such a disaster.  Why would God allow such tragedy into our lives?  We’ll not know the answer to that question until heaven, but for now we’re satisfied that God was in the flood.  Despite the mess and monetary loss, we have our lives and can rebuild.  And there were many blessings along the way.


As our house and land flooded, we were forced to move to higher ground, initially on our property, and then finally to be rescued by boat.  Our landlord is a wonderful Christian man who happened to have a boat and an empty five-bedroom house where we could stay while our house was being dried out and repaired.  We have two horses and they too had to be moved.  Thankfully a Christian couple came by in the eleventh hour with a horse trailer and offered to take them to a dry field.  We also own another house and thankfully that home remained dry.  If it hadn’t, we wouldn’t have had the financial resources to repair it and likely would have had to claim bankruptcy or sell it for pennies on the dollar.  And though we lost a lot, we were still able to save a lot of things, including all of Terry’s musical instruments.  Finally, we were helped financially by some sweet individuals.  Their gifts were so appreciated.  So in the midst of it all, we felt God’s love and presence.


When floods or other tragedies come into our lives they cause us to focus on what really matters – family, health, and our relationship with God.  Pretty much everything else can be replaced.  And what can’t be replaced remains as memories.  A flood streamlines life and forces prioritization of things, since everything can’t be saved.


Whether you are in literal or figurative turbulent waters, remember that Jesus walked on the water.  And he is still able to do so today.  He will bring you through the hard times.  And even dirty river water can have a cleansing effect as it tests faith and forces doubt to be washed away.


Terrible, tumultuous tragedies will always be a part of this life since sin rules in our world.  But Jesus has overcome the world and can reign in our lives despite the disappointment and devastation we might face.  Look for the blessings in the midst of your trial and you will find them.  Even in the face of a flood.


Here are some verses that have ministered to me during this time … maybe they will speak to you too.


The Lord is good.  A strong refuge when trouble comes.  He is close to those who trust in him.  But he will sweep away his enemies in an overwhelming flood.  (Nahum 1:7-8)


 …How can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?  … How can you say God ignores your rights?  Have you never heard?  Have you never understood?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth!  (Isaiah 40:27-28) 

We went through fire and flood but you brought us to a place of great abundance.  (Psalm 66:12) 

The Lord rules over the floodwaters.  The Lord reigns as king forever.  The Lord gives his people strength.  The Lord blesses them with peace.  (Psalm 29:10-11)