Last month, my hometown marked the 7th anniversary of "The Flood". The one that creeps into our conversations at least once a month (or so it seems), as in, "I'm sorry, sir, but we can't access your old file. We lost it in the flood." Or, "How high did you say the water in your office was?" (6' 8"). Or, "They relocated their business after the flood."
You see, our entire down - and by entire town, I mean the post office, City Hall, the telephone company, the electric company, the oil company, the funeral home, the banks, the waste water plant, and our primary industry which contributes the most to our economy - were all under at least 6 feet of water. I can't even begin to describe it in words, but the images still haunt me. My job wasn't affected, but my husband's was for a brief time. We were blessed. We had close friends who struggled through the loss of a business in their busiest season and at the height of their inventory. Unimaginable. Horrible. Devastating.
More than 100 families lost their homes. FEMA became a household word. Many are finally putting their lives back together.
Through the entire experience was that people banded together. God was glorified. Many proclaimed His Name. Through the struggle, He was there.
Just last week, a co-worker and I were discussing the fact that we'll never stop talking about the flood. Then came yesterday. And now, we'll have to specify which flood we're talking about.
My town is once again under water. The river is expected to crest this morning. Not as high as 7 years ago. But R just called to tell me that from what he can see, our office has about 8" of water. Other business have not fared nearly as well.
Fortunately, we had more warning this time. Most businesses spent Sunday evening and yesterday morning getting everything out of the buildings. We moved all of the furniture, files, and computers out of our office. I'm able to set up shop in my boss' home, and be nearly fully functional. The town should recover in a few months, rather than years.
I'm running on little sleep, lots of adrenaline and coffee. The task is overwhelming, and we haven't even begun. Yet, a song by Casting Crowns keeps running through my head,
I will praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands.
You are Who you Are, no matter where I am.
And every tear I cry, You hold in Your hands.
You never left my side, and though my heart is torn,
I will praise You in this storm.
My mind is reeling. As the first HAZMAT truck appeared yesterday and the news helicopters buzzed overhead, all I could think about was "Why, God? Why do this AGAIN? These people need to know You're here and that You're good." And the song comes back into my mind.
He reminded me, it's easy to praise Him when life is good. I do that all the time. Now, it's time for me to praise Him to others, even when life is senseless. When His promises seem to be nothing but lies and false hope. When it just seems too awful to be true.
So I'm asking you, please pray for my small area of Virginia. Please pray that the Christians here can serve God as He wants during this time. That we can shine His light in this hopelesly dark situation. That we ourselves can believe He is worthy of all praise...and that we can praise Him and testify to His love and mercy.
He worked a miracle before, and I know He can do it again. I'm counting on it.