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August 30, 2017

Rescued From the Flood

“… don’t be afraid. I have rescued you. I have called you by name; now you belong to Me. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown….” Isaiah 43:1-2 (CEV/NLT)

Historic! Unprecedented! Catastrophic! Biblical!  You’ve no doubt heard and repeated these one-word descriptions of the devastating floods in South Texas from Hurricane Harvey.  Even as I write this, life-saving rescues are still happening. Woodlands Church quickly became a staging center for marine rescues in this first phase of disaster relief, as well as an emergency shelter.  Nothing in my lifetime has been more distressing to witness on such a wide scale.

Amid the devastation, heroic efforts have been played out before our eyes from neighbors, strangers and common everyday people in addition to the grand efforts of emergency personnel.  How encouraging to see people helping people offering hope, food, shelter and prayer.  We will get through this!  There is hope!  As painful as it is, with as much loss as so many have suffered, we will rebuild.  God is in the restoration business!  He specializes in restoring lives!  He is a God of resurrection!

As you witness the events happening now, we hear that rescue is the first phase of restoring our community.  Above all else, life holds the greatest value!  As one official said, “We can replace homes and cars and stuff.  We just can’t replace human life.”  We are all so grateful for those involved in the rescue efforts from the flood waters. We pray for them!  As we do we’re reminded of a promise God gave centuries ago that is as timeless today as God Himself.

“… don’t be afraid. I have rescued you. I have called you by name; now you belong to Me. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown….” Isaiah 43:1-2 (CEV/NLT)

How can we overcome the fear that would otherwise grip our hearts in times like these?  First, affirm God’s unconditional love for you despite the circumstances.  Then claim His promise to rescue you!  He knows you by name!  You belong to Him when you offer your life to Christ.  Finally, recognize that sometimes God will deliver you from the floodwaters and sometimes He will deliver you in the midst of them.  In either case His promise is the same – I will be with you!  God will never abandon you!

We are not out of this yet.  In fact, as long as we live in this fallen world we will continue to experience struggles and pain and loss.  Still, there is hope! We can experience peace in the midst of the storm when we place our lives in God’s hands!