“Flood of a Lifetime!” “Rain Measured in Feet, Not Inches!” “Devastation!”
The headlines and statements regarding Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath are startling, to say the least. It is with mixed feelings that I sit in peace and comfort, watching on-scene news reports of the flooding of Houston and its suffering people. It’s as though I’m looking out the window on a surreal scene of pain and destruction, yet, unable to do anything for those stranded and looking for assistance.
Actually, there are things that can be done: prayer (!), support of ministries like Samaritan’s Purse and, later, join or support teams from area churches to assist in the massive relief effort that will certainly come.
As I remember the pictures of suffering people flashed repeatedly across the TV screen, one image has stuck in my mind … not from an actual photo, but from the description given in a news article. The article told of a family hurriedly evacuating their home because of rising flood waters, but in the process, they were forced to abandon their little dog, leaving it on a float in their swimming pool.
We can feel badly enough for the dog even though it’s “just a dog” but think of how that poor little animal clearly symbolizes the plight of so many in southeast Texas: lonely, abandoned, without hope. Maybe you or your loved ones feel this way today, in your circumstances. It doesn’t take a hurricane to open our eyes to personal pain and the need for help.
But I want you to know that you are not alone, not abandoned and you are not without hope – quite the contrary! Consider, if you will, Psalm 116. It’s described as a Psalm of thanksgiving for deliverance and sounds as if spoken by someone rescued from overwhelmingly difficult circumstances. Allow these be words of hope and assurance for you today…
Psalm 116 (NASB)
1 I love the Lord, because He hears
My voice and my supplications [my requests for His favor].
2 Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death encompassed me
And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;
I found distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I beseech You, save my life!”
5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is compassionate.
6 The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
7 Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For You have rescued my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling.
9 I shall walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.
12 What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?
13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation
And call upon the name of the Lord.
The cup of salvation was part of the Jewish thank offering. For us, it’s giving thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation given us through His sacrifice on the cross, knowing that no matter the outward circumstances He allows us to endure, our hope, our deliverance, the salvation of our souls are secure in Him.