Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Flood Zones

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by something that I can't even process what I am feeling. Often this happens to me when something surprises me and leaves me blind-sighted. Good and bad things both do this to me.

Good things often fill me with a surge of emotions. Joy bursts forcefully out from every part of me light a ray of light. My excited self giggles and I laugh like a child. I might yell out in my joy. I might leap into the air or dance without control. It is goodness that fills up and overflows. Emotions flow. Joy shines. Happiness is all I know.

Life is not all good though. It is the bad things that leave me stunned and out of breath. Life continues around you even though you are frozen in place. You forget to breath. Time feels like it has stopped and your feel trapped. You feel numb. You know what is happening but you can't even put into words how you feel. You are not sure if you feel, let alone how you feel about it. Then the emotions of despair and pain set in. There is no noise. Only deep anguish and loneliness. You feel like you are alone in deep waters.

Bad things happen to everyone. The hardest things to cope with are those that we cannot control. Especially when it is the suffering of other people we love. Our hearts ache. We might even build walls to protect ourselves. We want to isolate the pain so we don't have to feel all of it. Like a flood wall build around a flood zone, we block out pain. We raise barricades to keep uncomfortable feelings out.

The thing is, flood walls block everything. They are great for protecting areas in flood zones. Some walls are necessary to keep us safe. However, not being able to feel, that is never good.

The thing about flood walls is when we build those high walls to block the water we also block the sun. The sun that brings warmth and light into our lives. The sun is powerful. The sun has the power to dry up the heavy rains that have become floods full of our sorrows.

Our tears also serve a purpose. Without water this earth would dry up and cease to know the beauty of those sunny days and the happy moments. Without suffering, we cannot value joy. Our heart cannot feel unless we feel it all.

This may feel wrong, that pain is part of this world. However, we don't have to ride out the storms alone. We have a really good life guard. One that will guide us to dry land. One that walks on water. One that can calm the raging storm in the sea.

His name is Jesus.  Life with Jesus means we don't need flood walls around our hearts. In the deepest of storms, in the deepest of water He finds us. He is our savior.

Matthew 14:22-33 NIV

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

The thing I love about this story is Peter. Peter's faith in Jesus was a little rocky. Peter had doubts. Real doubts that all of us share. There is so much in life and even in the bible that we don't always understand. I won't pretend I understand it all. But I do know I find comfort in Jesus saving Peter. Jesus save us despite any of our flaws. We don't have to earn His love or be perfect. Jesus already is willing to be our life guard.

That to me makes any flood something I can overcome. If I have a life guard who always saves, I don't need to build up flood walls. I can live fully, flood and sun and everything in between. No matter the weather, I can make it. Flood zones don't have to control what I feel.

Whatever I am feeling, whatever I must face, I can do it with Christ.

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