As I watched the red and yellow spots on the weather radar rotate in a slow counterclockwise spiral of death over Houston, I thought about my father – 350 miles away on the second story of his house, watching the water ebb and flow on the floor below. As my concern grew, so too did my feelings of utter powerlessness to stop the incessant deluge of rain. This wasn’t my first time having to trust God through a situation of which I had no control. Standing in the hospital room for all three deliveries of my children incited similar feelings. Then there was the time that my youngest daughter was in the hospital with RSV at two weeks of age, after a coughing attack that momentarily stopped her breathing. This was, however, my first exercise in “surrendering out of futility” in connection to a natural disaster.
The process for me was similar in all cases. It began with increasingly maddening frustration until it reached a breaking point with an acknowledgement that I could not do anything in my own power – which finally allowed me to let go and offer it to God in prayer. But trusting the work of God’s hands means trusting Him with the result – and that is the part that is scary. Nevertheless, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3 NKJV).
Thankfully my dad was to emerge safely from the flood of Hurricane Harvey. Others were not as fortunate. The toll of those who tragically lost their life continues to rise as the waters clear. The number of those who lost almost everything in their house will be measured in the tens of thousands. Even the ones that made it out “dry” will be branded with emotional and mental imprints for a lifetime.
Yet, amidst it all, I am encouraged by the loving, resilient response of the body of Christ. Faithful followers saddled up with the "Cajun Navy," trailing their boats across Louisiana to assist in the rescue efforts. Volunteers are flooding in from all over the country to assist in gutting flooded houses. I can't even begin to count the number of schools and churches that are accepting donations. I heard of one group filling new purses with "woman stuff" to hand out as just another example of the countless, creative ways that believers have chosen to “…bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 ESV). Their selfless actions help to strengthen my faith through the storm by reflecting the love of a perfect King.
My heart is heavy for those affected by the storm. I wish that I could personally restore each and every situation. I have to remind myself that there is only One with the power to do so – and He has done so on the Cross. From now until the day of His return, our Lord beckons us instead to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15 NKJV) – because although we may be powerless to stop a hurricane, there is no force that can stop the love of Christ.
- Nicolas C. Day