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When the Waters Rise

IMG_1003When the storm comes and settles upon you.  In very literal terms right now we have some flooding.  Nothing like the flood of May 2010 which I wrote about just a few posts ago, but we do have some flooding going on.  Generally speaking, flooding comes from too much rain too quickly.  The murky water just keeps rising and rising.

In less literal terms, I can relate emotionally.  I feel murky water rising within me.  I question who I am all over again.  What is my purpose?  Perhaps I don’t question who I am as much as I once did, because I know Whose I am.  I question if I have the strength and resolve to follow through with it.  Can I keep going when the world is telling me “no”?  Can I keep believing when I don’t feel worthy?

Going back to the first paragraph, “flooding comes from too much rain too quickly.”  Perhaps that is it.  I have had to much “rain” in my life too quickly.  It has rattled me; doubt rises in me like the flood waters from the river.  Usually in check within its banks, but today overflowing and spilling into all areas of my life.  Am I a good mother?  Am I a writer?  Am I an artist?  Do I minister to others?  Am I worthy of such pursuits?  Can I do such things when I feel like my personal life falls apart from time to time?  Who am I to think I should do such things?  Do I have the strength to give to these areas in my life?

leave-it-to-beaver-1980Honestly, I want to retreat to where it is safe.  I want to be a wife and mother and not worry my “pretty little head” about such things.  To live in simplicity and not rock the boat.

Some days, I want to be more like June Cleaver and less like Beth Moore.  Today is one of those days.

We all question ourselves from time to time, but currently doubt has risen and flooded into me and it has settled.

What do you do when the waters rise and you fill with doubt?

The Flood

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.”