Devotional: September 2nd
Few things are as refreshing as a cool rain on a summer day. The way it breaks the humidity. The way it feels hitting the body. The wonderfully fresh scent that accompanies it. However, this simple rain can sometimes become deadly. The need for water for the ground to grow the plants that we call vegetables and provide the establishment of a water table is one thing. When rain just continues day after day is quite another thing.
1987 was an interesting year for the Kelley family. We were in our second full year in the ministry at the Bellville Church of Christ (now New Life Church of Christ). Becky's mother had passed away the year before from cancer. In the spring of '87, Becky's dad had visited relatives in the Washington D. C. area and had a severe heart attack. He had to have heart valve replacement surgery almost immediately and was months in the hospital there in Arlington, Virginia. I watched Larry Nelson hole his incredible pitch shot against Greg Norman to win the Masters that year while in the hospital with Daddy Fridley.
That spring my dad and I fished the main tributary feeding the Pleasant Hill Lake which was near Butler where my family and I were living while we waited for the new church parsonage to be turned over to us. Then the rains started. It kept raining in great deluges about every other day. In July I looked at the water level of the creek that ran through Bellville. It was steadily rising. One Sunday evening early in the month we drove past the creek as we headed out to our "summer home" and I commented that it could get bad in Bellville if the rain didn't stop because the creek couldn't hold much more.
The next morning we got a phone call fairly early from the wife of Becky's boss. She had gone to work for one of the elders as a secretary for his construction company. "Don't bother coming in," she said. "The town is flooded and you probably can't make it anyway." The creek Dad and I had fished earlier was on the way to Bellville. As we headed toward Bellville to see what had happened we came to the bridge over the creek. There standing on the bridge were two men roped to the iron framework. They were passing debris over the guard rails to keep it from damaging the bridge as the water had risen to the level of the guard rails and threatened the structure. Twenty-five feet below where the two men were working was where I had stood on a concrete abutment and fished about a month and a half earlier.
The flood devastated several homes in Bellville. One elderly lady commented, "Thank God for His promises." Indeed. Water stood three feet deep in her home, but compared to a worldwide flood in which all died that was a piece of cake. "It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh." Genesis 9:14, 15 We'll still have floods from time to time, but God has promised that they will not destroy the earth. We have His Word on that.
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