The rising flood, a rising people

In the story of the three men and the fiery furnace we are told after they are delivered from the fire — a fire so hot it incinerated the men who tossed them in — that not only were they not burnt they didn’t smell of fire.
They. Didn’t. Smell. Of. Fire.

Today your house is likely flooded. If not, you know someone. More than one someone. And their house is flooded.

Their heart is breaking. And your heart is breaking for them. My heart is breaking for them.

It’s really surreal.

Louisiana knows hurricanes. We know water. I’ve been here just ten years and I feel a sort of veteran about the water thing. It makes no sense for me to feel this way. I’m an absolute amateur with the flooding in truth. But, the high water that comes with hurricanes begins to feel like something that just comes with the territory. Kind of the price you pay for living in such an incredible place.

Frankly, would we all stay with the threat of such imminent horrible hurricanes were this place not so unique and so extraordinary? It’s like the ticket for getting to live in the place that says “laissez le bon temps rouler.” The good times roll here. Even in the this mess.

I’ve seen a lot of resilience in the last two days. A lot of sweat and a lot of tears. And a lot of hilarious jokes and the kind of stamina and sense of humor that comes with living in this place. But, laying just underneath is the pain. It’s the uncertainly.

It’s the truth.

It’s the truth.

It is reality. It’s simmering underneath the Cajun jokes and the praise. The pain of starting over. The challenge of replacing. The trial. This is a trial to be sure. It’s not an easy thing.

And I think again of the fire. In Isaiah 43:2 we are told about both water and fire so closely together:

“I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.”

We are told we will not burn up. Thanks to Noah we know that the whole earth won’t flood. But, for many folks tonight the truth is that their whole world is under water. It’s wet. It’s soggy.

Many Louisiana hands are pruned and their hearts are taking on discouragement just the way the houses took on water — slowly and then suddenly all at once. And then as it began to come in, it was as though the tide could not be reversed.

Tonight I pray for strength and I ask that you do the same. Because it’s easy to say “it’s just stuff” and we are safe. But, our “stuff” symbolizes a lot. There’s a reason we hold onto all of it. It means something to us. Our houses are more than bricks and wood. They are our homes and our security and our refuge at the end of the day.

Tonight, I want to remind you that your refuge is in Christ alone. And you don’t have to pay a premium for this all surpassing security. This absolute fortress was already paid for entirely just for you.

In the coming days things may or may not get easier. I do not know what we will wake to tomorrow. But, God does. And in that I find comfort and now I’m back again to the three men in the furnace and their life AFTER the fire. Because we all know there will be life AFTER the water.

And it won’t be the same again.

And this is okay.

It won’t be the same again. And this is okay.

You won’t be the same again.

And this is okay.

So, why didn’t these men smell like smoke? How do you go through the fire and come out the other side not smelling of smoke? How do you go through the waters and sit in the rising flood and not smell of mildew after?

It requires a miracle.

It requires a miracle from the author and perfecter of our faith. It takes a village. It’s going to take people being the hands of feet and doing the hard things for our neighbors and showing them on earth what our Father’s love looks like — lavish and sacrificial.

And so the waters will recede and we will rise. And you don’t have to smell of mildew. No matter what your home looks like as you lay your head tonight, believe that God is able to restore and redeem every single thing that was swept away. Including your peace.

Tonight I pray that this never ending rain does something beautiful. Something you never expected.

I pray it helps us hold our people tighter and our possessions more loosely.

I pray it shows the world (again) that Louisiana is a truly special place.

And I pray above all that you are washed tonight with a peace that surpasses understanding.  

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About Amanda Jean Elliott

I am a joyful believer in Jesus Christ, a mother, a sister, a writer, a maker of gluten free roux and a style editor. I love my son Wilder and the wild life that comes with a 4-year-old who has the energy of a pack of wolves. I also love naps (a lot). I love to cook and create my favorite dishes without gluten not because I'm trendy and anti-gluten so much as it makes me feel like I've been run over by a pack of wolves. I teach 5th and 6th grade girls Sunday School and have a classroom of the greatest girls I could imagine. Girls who often teach me more than I teach them. I believe these girls and many others are the spark to start a fire for The Lord the likes of which this world has never seen. I see more and more girls learning about more than just who God is ... but, learning about who God says THEY are. It is my prayer for every woman to know without doubt that we have a good good Father in heaven and whatever is not right on this earth, He will make right in this life or the next.
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18 Responses to The rising flood, a rising people

  1. Prayers for ALL my Acadiana friends and loved ones…..

    • Thank you. Prayers this morning are needed for more long term places to stay for those displaced. Clean up efforts and that flood of overwhelm I know many feel with beginning to pick up the pieces.

  2. Heather Foster says:

    What a beautiful article, thank you. We need uplifting. And we need Jesus!!

  3. Angela says:

    So beautifully stated! May God bless those who have been affected.

  4. Cheryl Blossom says:

    Very powerful. It is obvious who you know. I hope it gives comfort and solace to many.

  5. jayatoups says:

    Love this post. I agree with you completely. This why we love Lafayette. The faith, generosity and resilience of its people. God is good!

  6. Trishfoster says:

    This person has had a revelation of the Goodness of GOD in spite of the disappointments.Their praise toward GOD is……A sacrifice of Praise!

  7. Hephzibah says:

    Reblogged this on Enjoying the Journey and commented:
    Love this!

  8. Pingback: The rising flood, a rising people | souravweb

  9. Doreen witkowski says:

    Wishes:I CAN’T BE THERE TO CRY WITH YOU.
    I CAN’T BE THERE TO SIGH FOR YOU.
    I CAN’T BE THERE TO HUG YOU.
    I CAN’T BE THERE TO HELP CLEAN UP.
    I CAN’T TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN.
    I CAN’T PRAY WITH YOU.
    I CAN’T GIVE BACK WHAT YOU’VE LOST.
    BUT I CAN PRAY PRAY PRAY.
    GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERY PERSON GOING THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT TIME.
    THE LORD IS CLOSE TO THE BROKENHEARTED AND SAVES THOSE
    WHO ARE CRUSHED IN SPIRIT.MAY OUR GOD OF HOPE FILL YOU WITH PEACE AS YOU TRUST IN HIM, MAY HE STRENGTHEN YOU AND HELP YOU;TRUST IN HIM AND YOU WILL FILL HIS JOY.GOD BLESS I CAN’T BUT HE CAN.

  10. me says:

    Your thoughts are my thoughts , but you express them a lot better than I ever can! Thank you for your time ! May the dear Lord put His two hands together for all the people of Louisiana,amen

  11. Betty Alderman says:

    As I watch Channel 2 and keep up with information on this Great Flood of 2016, my heart breaks for those of you who have lost family members, your home and furnishings, vehicles, pets, etc., all of which means the world to you. I am thankful for the spirit that the majority of you exemplify! “We will get through this… We are Louisiana strong… We help each other… “, and on and on with positive remarks! God Bless each of you as you make your “come back”…….and I know you will! Keep your FAITH and remember that God loves you and LOUISIANA loves you, too! Prayers!!!

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