A couple of years ago we had a MAJOR flood in our area. It was unreal. We didn’t expect it. We weren’t prepared. Dams threatened to break. Bridges threatened to collapse. A rain system simply settled on top of us and deluged for days.
The river system that runs through our neighborhood is usually very calm. But during this time it cut straight shots from river bend to river bend resulting in houses, which were not even close to the river, being swept away down to the foundation. School’s portable classrooms floated away and people drowned on flooded, congested interstates where the waters rose faster than the cars could get out of the way. We watched in horror from our television screens, helpless.
When it was over and the waters receded, it looked like a tornado, not a flood, had hit our town. Places where the water had risen and tumbled by with such extreme force the landscape had been wiped clean. School was closed for the rest of the year. Hardly anything that the water had washed over remained. On each side of the riverbank yards and yards outstretched of huge trees which had been left laying flat by the tumbling water. They called it “the thousand year flood.”
I still drive by these places and the landscape is still not the same as it was prior to the flood. They are recognizable, yet different. The landscape is not quite the same. Old oaks which once stood firm now lay on their sides, rotting. River bends were made straighter.
It was a flood that had never been seen in this area.
I can’t help but meditate on what the flood meant. How it stripped everything away.
In church, I have heard many references in either prayer, words of meditation, or song regarding the Holy Spirit “flooding” our soul. I used to equate that to filling our soul. But after seeing first hand the effects of a flood, I think it means so much more than that.
It means to wash everything that was there prior away. Not just wash as in cleaning a window, but to completely strip it and leave it barren. I think about this being done to me. When I pray for a flooding of the Holy Spirit, I am asking for all that I was prior to be washed away.
But then, I am ready to be filled. If I have baggage in my soul, then there is not much room for the Holy Spirit to reside. I understand the stripping. I have to be stripped before I can be filled. Only after I am stripped am I ready.
Soon we returned to the areas which were flooded and we rebuild. We go back to the river and learn to live life on it once again.
In some ways, life is better. Houses were remodeled and new life begins on the riverbanks. Roads were restored. People came together.
Can it be that way with our soul? After it is stripped can it be restored? I believe so. Not only will it be restored, but it will be richer and more beautiful than before.
“Father, flood my soul with your Holy Sprit. I am ready to be nothing of myself and filled completely by you.”