Good news! We heard that the levees around the Industrial canal that everyone saw on the news today didn’t break. That means that my home (which isn’t too far from part of that canal) is fine. We’ve also heard preliminary reports from the school that it isn’t flooded. We live on campus, so that means we’re not flooded. I have done many happy dances to celebrate this.
I’ll tell you that today was stressful. I woke up wondering what happened and I’ve thought about it all day. I tried to stay away from the news so I wouldn’t become anxious, but that didn’t always happen. I know that no matter what had happened, God would have taken care of us. Still, I think there’s a difference between nervousness and worry.
This may seem like an unconnected and much more extreme example, but during my reflection on the coming hurricane, God reminded me of Veggie Tales. Lately Bean and I have been watching Rack, Shack, & Benny. It’s a retelling of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. (Who, because I don’t want to type their names again, will be referred to as “The Guys.”) In the Biblical story, the following scene roughly plays out:
Nebuchadnezzar the King: Dudes, if you don’t bow down and worship this idol, I’m throwin’ you in the fire. And your deity can’t save you.
The Guys: He can save us. We are sure of that. But, whether he saves us or not, we will praise Him alone.
I am sure The Guys were uttering nervous prayers while they were being tied up. I’m sure their hands were shaking as they were lead to the furnace room. I’m positive they were looking around for the angelic beings that they hoped would swoop down and magnificently save them. They didn’t know how they’d be saved. They didn’t know they would be saved. While they trusted in God’s faithfulness, their knees still knocked.
Ok, so in my case there was no forced idolatry, no threats of furnace-throwing, and no chocolate bunnies (see the Veggie version for that), but I still felt a kinship to The Guys. I couldn’t do anything about my situation but watch and wait. Worrying wouldn’t add a day to my life or keep the water levels down. So, I spent a lot of my time wondering “what if…?” followed by praying and talking to God about those anxieties rather than fretting to myself.
Today, you can be sure that I uttered nervous prayers, my hands were shaking, and I watched the news for angelic beings holding up the levees. Most of the time, my prayers were simply “PleaseDon’tLetItFloodPleaseDon’tLetItFloodPleaseDon’tLetItFloodPleaseDon’tLetItFlood.” And, the whole time, my knees knocked.
Like I said in the beginning, I knew that God would care for us regardless of what the outcome was. If I was sitting on the couch bawling because my house was under 35 feet of water — that’s ok. Trusting in God doesn’t mean facing adversary without emotion. I actually got mad the night before we left. I went to a Student Wives Meeting and we were all talking about the hurricane. One lady glibly said: “We just have to trust him” and got up from the table, effectively ending all conversation. She said it as if she was saying “By the way, chicken is on sale this week at Winn-Dixie.” Rather than kicking this lady in the knee, I just thought about kicking her in the knee. This is probably good since she is a professor’s wife.
So, we know that God tells us not to worry. But, that doesn’t mean adopting a sugar-coated stoicism. Go on and feel nervous, just share that with the Father and trust that He’ll take care of you no matter what. In the comments to the previous post, Carolyn called us courageous. My response was that I’m not very courageous at all. But, my God is always, always faithful. Even in floods and furnaces.
To make up for this long post, go to Bean’s website and see a new video I put together. If you don’t have that address, leave me a comment and I’ll send it to you.
Thanks again for all of your encouragement and prayers!