Friday, May 6, 2011

The Water is Rising.

Over the past few days I have almost gotten used to seeing people with moving trucks parked in their front yards. As I complete my afternoon runs, I see people throwing laundry, furniture and other belongings in the back of vehicles. I know many of the houses in my neighborhood are empty or being emptied. Preparations are being made for worst case scenarios.

On May 22, the Mississippi is projected to crest at 64 feet (it was originally 65 feet, and has dropped Praise the Lord!). This is six feet above the highest crest in recorded history, which was during the Great Flood of 1927. At 64 feet, the river will be about 21 feet higher than the elevation of our house, and will be 4 feet from the top of the levee. We live about 6 blocks away from this levee.  The levees are expected to hold strong, and it is expected that there will be no flooding in our town. Still, the list of things that could go wrong is scary, and has set many into panic mode. Some people are moving everything out of their houses and across the river to Natchez which is at a much higher elevation (about 190 feet higher than Vidalia).

The river at 53 feet. It will crest at 64 feet on May 22nd.
The whole thing became very real to me on Wednesday, when there was an unplanned after-school meeting for the teachers. In this meeting, we were told of the evacuation procedures in the case that an evacuation happened during school hours. Also, we were told that school would end two days early. I was advised to move my textbooks and important supplies to the top shelves in my classroom. As I moved my textbooks to the very top shelf, it hit me.....Wow, this is real.
So, I began precautionary measures.......I have packed up my pictures, keepsakes, and non-replaceable items. The laundry basket that they are in will be sent with some sweet friends to their home in Natchez on Sunday along with some of Stephen’s guitars.  We will take a couple pieces of furniture to another location. We have a place to stay across the river, should there be an evacuation. I plan to stack the remaining furniture in the house as high as possible should we have to leave. So, there’s the plan.

My basket of photos, keepsakes and important documents.
During all this planning I have realized much. In the past, I have been quick to say I would leave everything and go to the mission field should God call me. But, the prospect of losing everything to flood waters revealed that I was more materialistic than I thought. Maybe materialistic is the wrong word, and it is more like idolizing comfort. Losing my stuff did not bother me as much as the hassle it would be to replace it. I was concerned with comfort and convience.
It is interesting to think about how your actions reveal your beliefs.  I don’t want to be someone who is anxious about “stuff” as I believe that stems from a lack of faith. I don’t want to claim that I know God will spare us, because I don’t know his plan. But, I do know that I want to trust in Him. I want my actions to reflect my trust. I want to trust that He will reveal himself through the outcome, no matter what happens.  A song by Laura Story says it best:
"Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?"
Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer, and our city had a gathering at the city hall. As you can imagine, the attendance was high and the flooding was the main topic of the prayers. I did not get to attend, because of work. However, today I read a quote in the Natchez Democrat taken from my husband's prayer at the event.

 “Even if we are under 15 feet of water, you are the same God,” he said. “You are the same God in the sunshine and the rain.”

I don't know what will happen. But I do know this: God is still good, holy and just. Not because the levees hold, but because He is God.

As I type, the water is rising. I pray our faith rises too. Not “faith” that God will give us what we want, but faith that He is good and will provide for us what we need, no matter what happens.


  1. My parents are not even packing a thing. My nonmaterialistic parents could care less an are just going to take their safe box. I'm ready to hurt them lol. The whole thing is bothering me so much. I collect antiques an we have several irreplaceable pieces at my parents house I won't inherit for years. I'm trying to get them to move those items to my house, but they won't. They aren't worried at all. Oh the other hand I need to seriously pray over Matthew 6 . This girl is a worrier.

    Sorry for the long comment. I am praying nothing happens!

  2. I am so much like you, I tend to worry and be pessimistic. God's growing me in that area though! Thanks for your prayers!