"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
~ 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
Whenever our area encounters a tropical storm with a lot of rain, I can't help but think of what Noah experienced.
Noah was a man who heard God tell him to prepare for a flood. The world that he knew his whole life would be radically changed. The people that he knew as his neighbors, the community that he shopped in, the place he worshiped, and the home where he laid his head to sleep at night; all would be washed away. Everything that Noah knew and saw, would be gone.
What Noah saw and knew as normal, would all be gone.
Just two years ago we survived Hurricane Harvey dumping nearly 60 inches of rain on our community in just a few days. The water just never seemed to cease. Nearly 2 trillion gallons of water fell on the city of Houston, and the entire city sank 2 centimeters because of the weight of all the water. It was just one of the most incredible storms I have ever encountered.
For Noah, the storm raged for forty days. The sounds he heard, and the images he saw, must have haunted him the rest of his life. The responsibility was great. The devastation complete.
We struggle each day to hold on. Hold on to our health. Our families. To seek security in our jobs, and to uphold our standing in our community. We join clubs, we volunteer in soup kitchens, and we find ways to make our existence meaningful, all the while we know that this is all temporary.
One of the biggest challenges each of us have is realizing our temporariness on this earth. For Noah, the post-flood experience must have been strange. The security that God would need to provide this family as they began to rebuild the earth, must have been amazing, especially when clouds would appear and that first sprinkle would begin to fall.
It is comforting to know that there is eternity. Although I don't believe any of us can humanly understand the existence of eternity, we can however reflect and know that everything we experience is a brief encounter while living, and what we do in our life can and does make a difference.
We are reminded that faith, hope, and love are cornerstones, with love being the most important. Through this experience, no matter how long or brief our lives may seem, God is forever recreating... always, even when experiencing and after the storm, and beyond into eternity.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.