Over the last few years, a consistent need for the United States, especially Texas and other southwestern states, has been rain. Looking at drought data over the last year shows how desperate things had become. In fact, just one year ago, over 90 percent of the state was facing drought conditions of some kind, with a quarter of the state suffering the most severe D4 level “Exceptional Drought.”
Of course, the last few weeks have felt like a series of storms, with little to no breaks in between. As a result, the current data show only about 30 percent of the state is in a drought, with the direst 3 percent of the state only reaching a D2 level. This drought ending weather has come at a cost though.
As though ruined Memorial Day plans weren’t bad enough, record levels of rainfall and flooding have caused damage to thousands of homes and businesses across Texas, and left much of downtown Austin underwater. And according to The Weather Channel, this wet season may last for weeks to come.
The irony of having prayed for rain, only to see so much damage when we finally get it, makes it easy to lose sight of God’s goodness. It feels cruel of Him to end a drought with a flood, and it would come as no surprise if many have begun to wonder if God has a sick sense of humor. But, as C.S. Lewis so poignantly wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” It is in these moments of doubt, fear, or tragedy that it becomes especially important to lean on God.
The story of the wise and foolish builders (found in Matthew 7) is especially powerful. Jesus tells of two men, a wise man and a fool, who each build a house. One builds on a strong foundation, the other on sand. When storms come, the fool’s home washes away, while the house built on the rock stands firm. Judging by the indiscriminate destruction of homes by the recent floods, it’s clear this story isn’t meant to be literal. Jesus explains that the two men represent two ways to live life: believing and obeying the word of God, or ignoring the word of God. The question is whether Christians, in the face of disaster, will crumble or stand firm in the knowledge of God’s goodness.
Psalm 34 speaks directly to this point, asserting that God is good and saves those who call on Him. Paul’s experience supports God’s goodness as well, when he explains that, through Christ, he can be content no matter what. When we remember that our true home is with Jesus in heaven, we can look at floods, tornadoes, and the like and laugh, knowing that God has blessed us abundantly in Jesus. If our most prized treasures are the spiritual blessings given by God, we can rest easy no matter how long the tornado warnings may last.
However, there is very little that can make someone trust God is good if God’s people do nothing more than assert that He is. That said, the people of God ought to be the first to respond to the physical needs of those around them. It is a joy to teach of God’s goodness, but it is a greater joy to be a conduit of God’s goodness! In fact, participating in the work of God is a great way to store up the kind of treasures that moth and rust (and floods) cannot destroy!
There are many ways to get involved with the flood relief efforts. Whether volunteering your time, or simply donating much needed funds, there’s no effort or amount that is too little, especially if your generosity springs forth from a joyful heart. For more information on how you can get involved, click here.