Thursday, January 19, 2017

Preparing for the Flood

Mount Rose looking West as the third storm system moves into Nevada from California
Trust in the Lord forever, 
for the Lord, the Lord himself, 
is the Rock eternal.  
Isaiah 26:4 NIV

Last week my family arrived back home to Nevada from our vacation in Florida with just enough time to make a run to the grocery store for food and supplies before the torrential rains hit Northern Nevada and California.  On our first week "back to school" after winter break, our first day was canceled, the following two days consisted of late starts due to closed roads which had flooded and high schools being turned into shelters for evacuees, and icy roads as the temperatures were dropping and still more precipitation was falling. School was again canceled on Thursday and we had another delayed start on Friday. 

By most accounts, one would say that the flooding wasn't that bad.  But, Reno, and much of Northern Nevada seems to experience flooding on a sort of "decade-length" cycle.  After the floods of 1997 and 2005, they continued to try to improve on their "preparedness" for such a beating from "mother nature." Drainage systems were built into the newer housing developments and levees and ditches were reinforced and added.  

As we sang through our worship set today at church, one of the songs struck a chord with me... The Rock Won't Move by Vertical Church.

Here are the words that resonated so deeply within me:  
My hope is in the promise of Your blood  My support within the raging flood  Even in the tempest, I can sing [emphasis added] I'm hidden safe in the God who never moves  Holding fast to the promise of Your truthThat  You are holding tighter still to me...
The night before, my husband and I strolled along the Truckee River in downtown Reno. The river was rushing and high, still covering many of the walking paths, and still a dramatic difference from the trickle that was meandering over the bedrock two and a half years ago when we moved here during the heart of the drought.  I was fascinated by the idea of a ROCK and it's CONTROL over the rushing waters.  It directs and guides the waters around it.  IT does not move, the WATER must move.  

When God tells us to build our house on the rock, when people refer to God as a ROCK and a SHELTER in troubled times, it's because HE remains unchanged and steady even when the storms of life roll in and we are threatened by the flood.

As parents and care-givers of children with special needs, we can't control when life will bring us a flood.  We may often feel overwhelmed by a deluge of health issues, school difficulties, behavioral troubles and medical bills...and we may lie awake at night worrying about the NEXT storm.  

The one thing we CAN do is prepare for a flood by building our "house" on the ROCK...the only thing that we can count on to remain constant and unchanging. God.  We need to memorize scripture, even ONE verse can make the difference...repeat it over and over in our mind to keep us steady and grounded.  We must FLOOD OURSELVES with God's promises so that when the storms come, we turn to HIM rather than focusing on the circumstances around us.  "Even in the tempest" we can sing...

In the devotional Jesus Calling, today (January 16) I read: 
As you anticipate what is ahead of you, you forget that I am with you...Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go through them only when they actually come. (Sarah Young, p. 17)
That's exactly how worry robs us of today.  If we are focused on God and His promises, we don't have to experience our difficult times over and over again.  Going through them ONCE is enough, right?  So, let's prepare for the stormy times not by WORRYING about them, but by standing firm in our faith and flooding ourselves with God's love and His Word.

Pray:  Father God, you have called us to stand firm in our faith and you have promised to always be present with us, even in the storm.  Help me to believe this and proclaim it.  Help me to stay focused on YOU rather than the storm.  Amen.

~Tammie Hefty

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