It happens to our neighborhood every June. Just as the snow begins to melt and the sky radiates glory in the morning and then cracks wide open with raindrops in the afternoon. This surges the river banks and turns fields of hay into swamp land. Roads become rivers and power flickers like lightning bugs. For what feels like endless days, nature overtakes all of man’s ingenuity. It is inconvenient at best, destructive and disruptive at most. Travel and power become luxuries.
As I stood there this year, staring at the orange “Road Closed” signs, listening to water rage across the road, dodging the swooping blue heron in their quest for food, I heard a prayer. It echoed across the water. A prayer I have prayed hundreds of times and watched others pray hundreds more.
“Come Lord, fill this place. Flood our hearts with Your presence, overflow here. We long for a saturation of your power. “
As I stood there at the road closed sign and really took in the full effects of flood waters, the full effect of saturated ground and its destructive force I wondered, have we truly embraced the impact of a Holy flood?
If God’s presence were to flood our hearts, our homes, our church sanctuaries, would we stand back and be content with the disruption or would we grumble and complain in frantic search for ways around it?
As the river floods it forges new paths. It spreads and covers areas that do not normally house water. It brings life to places once dry. It usurps man’s attempts to control and maneuver. It challenges design, it demands patience. It clears out the dead and broken.
Flooding can completely change the terrain.
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Habkuk 2:14
As God’s presence covers and saturates He will bring changes to our relationships and how they are accessed. He will alter our sources for motivation and deepen sources for strength. He will change our direction. While there may be destruction of our selfish structures and our manmade foundations, He will clear out the dead, the broken, and the clutter. He will make a way for life to flourish.
Are you willing? Are you open to the inconvenience in order to gain the benefit?
Year after year as our river banks flood and the power goes out I am in awe of the ripple. Within a few short hours of the outage you can find us in front of our houses (instead of in back), sharing stories and watching children play. Over the hum of generators we will share drinks and laughs. Lawn chairs fill roads and garages are left open. It is magical to watch our neighborhood open up and walls come down. I have grown to love those days. My neighbors have become my friends. Beyond an annual barbecue and occasional borrowed cups of sugar we have forged deeper connections and shared memories around camp fires, long extension cords and front porch rain shelters. I wouldn’t have these treasures without an overflow, a power outage or road closures.
In the aftermath of flooding there is always a stronger, more vibrant landscape. Trees and bushes reach higher. Birds sing praise for the flourishing harvest. The view has changed and while some grasses have died and the piles of silt on the side of the road are not pretty, they are reminders. Reminders of a covering, provision, an experience.
“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the Lord, have created it.” Is. 45:8
Embrace it, wade into it. Let Him saturate. There may be a detour or delay to your planned route, but He has a bounty of life waiting for you.
“I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream.” Is. 66:12
Like a fire shut up in my bones
I want the world to know You are God
With a passion burning deep within
I want the world to know that You live
Let Your presence come and saturate
Every part of me make me new
Let Your Spirit come and move within
Fill me once again cause I need more
Jesus, I’m desperate for You
Jesus, I’m hungry for You
Jesus, I’m longing for You
Lord You are all I want
Come like a flood and saturate me now
You’re all I want
Come like the wind
And sweep throughout this place
You’re all we want.
”Like a Fire” by Planetshakers