My heart is literally broken over the suffering of several people near and dear to me. I’m talking long, ongoing, compounded, desperate suffering. I beg and I beg God for healing and /or peace for these wonderful people, and it appears that the answer is “No” or “Not Now.” How hard it is to watch those we love suffer!
I was able to learn a lesson from last weekend’s “Great Flood.” Places in Louisiana where it had never flooded before were submerged – and to a degree that was historic as well. Our neighborhood made the local news – not good!
We went to bed Friday night, and everything was fine. I got up at 8 a.m. to let the dog out and to my utter surprise half of my backyard and 1/3 of my front yard was covered in water. As the hours passed, it continued to creep up closer and closer to the house. It was around 3 p.m. that we decided to evacuate, as water began to lap against our front door, and an announcement was made that they would be cutting power to the subdivision. Firemen made rounds picking up residents in amphibious trucks and boats. Many of the residents in our neighborhood are Hurricane Katrine “transplants.” I will never forget the look on the faces of many as they stood on their porches with glazed over eyes and luggage in hand. They seemed to be living a painful Katrina flashback, and I hurt for them.
We stayed with family for the night, and were (remarkably) able to get back into our home within only 24 hours. We felt incredibly blessed that our home only received a small amount of water. Some of my neighbors had a lot of damage.
I learned two things. #1 There is nothing I own that I fear losing. As we prepared to leave our home, I put the kids baby pictures up high and hoped for the best. I really felt a sense of peace as I waded in the waist high water to board the truck with my family. Faith and Family are truly all that matters. Wherever we are together – that is HOME. #2 Things can change dramatically in 24 hours. I think of that song by Wilson Phillips, “I know that there is pain, but you Hold On for One More Day…” All was looking pretty bleak, and 24 hours later, you could not even tell that the flood had taken place. A week later, the pond looks cleaner than ever and the azaleas that line the road into the subdivision are in full bloom, welcoming all who enter.
To those who suffer, or those who are experiencing one hardship after another – You are not alone! The Lord walks with us in our pain. He has been there, done that. He knows. He knows. He gives us amazing grace for the moment – not for what might/will happen tomorrow or next week.
Don’t ever give up hope! Things often look darkest before the dawn. Twenty-four hours later, things could be completely different – and a week later, who knows!? He knows. There are two things that can give us consolation in suffering. First, whatever happens to us is allowed by God for some greater good. Secondly, any suffering united to Christ’s cross is never wasted. It has incredible value in helping another soul (we may/may not know) on the path to heaven. We can’t fully understand this here on earth, but one day, I think we will be in awe of how God uses everything – everything – for the good of His children!