Discovering Spiritual Truths & Celebrating God's Grace in the Every Day Happenings of Life.
Many of my congregation members are already aware of this information, after my late-night email and plea for dehumidifiers this past Sunday evening. Unfortunately, my family had some significant water in our basement over the weekend. Can you even imagine? After six long weeks of work to completely finish our basement, the first attempt at using our new downstairs shower sprung a leak from behind the freshly painted walls. Unbeknownst to us, during a 12-hour absence, hot water was unobtrusively springing up from behind the newest walls in our brand-new home. Following an awesome, full-day with visiting friends down at the Jersey Shore, we came home to standing water and a squishy floor. After shutting off the hot water throughout the house, we spent a couple of panicky hours sopping up water and drying out bedding. Needless to say, watching water come up through the seams of brand-new flooring is quite disheartening. Thankfully, the damage seems to be limited to the still-present hole in the wall that was cut to fix the faulty plumbing. Drywall is easily replaceable. Everything else was fine. And now, our chorus of humming dehumidifiers are drying things out quite nicely—when they’re not tripping my circuit breaker.
Sometimes God has a wicked sense of humor. Our Old Testament reading from this past Sunday was filled with irony for me. Still slightly fatigued from a sleepless Friday night, I couldn’t help but chuckle when I heard our assisting minister read these words from Genesis. “God said to Noah, ‘Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you… I establish my covenant that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’” (Gen. 9:8-11) Did you catch that? God will never again use water to destroy the earth. Sadly no mention of newly purchased living abodes. Listen up preacher man, there’s divine raillery shining through in a teachable moment. The waters may have wreaked havoc on your pristine basement, but they won’t destroy the earth. Ha! A subtle reminder to keep things in perspective. Even while sucking up water in a ShopVac… look for a rainbow and remember His promise. Touché God, touché!
This is how life works, isn’t it? You’re having a great day. Loving life. Enjoying the moment. All is right with the world. Then suddenly, the proverbial waters of chaos come charging at you. No matter how fast and hard you try to tread water, you just can’t keep up with the raging waters as they batter over your head. It happens to us all, and often once those floodgates open they can seem relentless. Just like that, we are submerged in waters of self-doubt, financial uncertainly, broken relationships, medical diagnosis, cancelled plans, and so on. Truth be told—it’s not always easy to see the rainbow. But it is there. God promises it will always be there. Not literally of course. But the promise of His reliable strength and peace is as durable as I hope my brand new laminate flooring will be. Indestructible. No matter how bad it gets we look up, confidently looking for the rainbow. It’s there. Peeking through the clouds and hovering over the aftermath of the storm. God wants to make sure that we never doubt His presence or question His love. “I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” (Gen. 9:13) The Lord first promised Noah that He would not let the flood waters win. He promises us the same thing. They will not overtake us. God will save us. He will take care of us with an enduring, steadfast love. Many years later through the prophet Isaiah, God reminded all of His people of this truth, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze… For I am the Lord your God… Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” (43:1-5)
Now to the credit of our contractor, they came over first thing on Saturday morning. They owned the mistake and they fixed it. We were without hot water in the house for less than 12 hours. Thanks be to God, He doesn’t make us wait that long. In fact, He doesn’t make you wait at all. God will never put you off, not even for a moment. You will never hear Him say, “I’ll get to you first thing in the morning.” The reprieve of the Lord is instantaneous and our heartfelt cries or prayers are never ignored, never put on hold. So, my dear friends, look up and search for the rainbow. The waters will come. They will fill your metaphorical basement. But they won’t destroy your soul. God promises the rising waters will never sweep over you!
“God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us, in the dreariest and most dreaded moments, can see a possibility of hope.” (Maya Angelou)