This morning, I had an unpleasant surprise. On opening the door to our storage room, I was greeted by a rush of water coming out at me. Five inches of rain overnight on already soaked ground was more than our house could handle. The water continued to spread through the entire basement as the day wore on and storms continued to roll through the area.
The rest of the day was spent trying to dry the space with towels, removing boxes and items out of reach of the spreading water, and lots of squeegee action and shop vac suction. As the sun set (and another shower began), 12 friends and brothers & sisters in Christ showed up to help us move all the furniture out of the carpeted areas, run shop vacs to remove the standing water as much as possible, and generally get wet and dirty trying to help us deal with the mess. What a blessing it was to have church family jump in and help as much as they could!
So, here’s what I learned from the flood in our basement today:
- Circumstances can crush your kingdom. We had absolutely no control over the weather or the water entering the basement. All plans for today (and tomorrow) had to be abandoned in an instant.
- Our kingdom, the house and its appearance, really didn’t matter. Having the house torn apart and possessions potentially ruined, is unsettling. But, in the big picture, even if all is lost, thanks be to God.*
- When our kingdoms are crushed, there’s room for God to (rightfully) be on the throne. When I step back and look at that big picture, how can I do anything but trust God? I’m so clearly not in control (as water continues to fill my basement). I suppose I could stress and worry, but what would that do? It wouldn’t stop the flow of water. It wouldn’t save my carpet or household furnishings.
- Kingdom crushing can lead to surprising blessings. If our basement had not flooded, I would have gone to work, had a normal day, come home, chatted with my husband over dinner and then written a blog post. Instead, I prayed. A lot. While running the shop vac, I spent several hours praying. Rather than a quiet dinner at home, we had twelve friends from church come by to help us move furniture and clean. Instead of watching a movie or Doctor Who, I had gospel conversations about trusting God in hard times.
Well, this isn’t the post I thought I’d be writing for Day Two, but that’s what crushing our kingdoms sometimes looks like. I hope your kingdom crushing takes a drier turn than mine has. 🙂
*a poem by Dom Julian, O.S.B., as recorded in A Severe Mercy:
If everything is lost, thanks be to God
If I must see it go, watch it go,
Watch it fade away, die
Thanks be to God that He is all I have
And if I have Him not, I have nothing at all
Nothing at all, only a farewell to the wind
Farewell to the grey sky
Goodbye, God be with you evening October sky
If all is lost, thanks be to God,
For He is He, and I, I am only I.