This weekend in middle Tennessee we experienced unprecedented rain and the resulting history making floods. Most of us (who were dry) sat glued to the television as unforgettable pictures of raging rivers, lakes, and streams turned quiet, familiar neighborhoods into unrecognizable, muddy oceans. We watched spellbound as cars and small buildings floated down what was once an inter-state highway. We were gripped by scene after scene of elderly and very young people being hoisted from upstairs windows into flat bottom boats to be hauled, unceremoniously across a torrid of chocolate, brown water to stay in some high school gymnasium or church fellowship hall. Our hearts were broken as the number of those swept away to their death began to rise.
Eventually, the discussion, even on the television, turned to insurance. Were they covered? Did they have specific flood insurance? Would there be any recompense for what was lost? Even Doris and I began to discuss if we were covered by flood insurance. What would we do in the event of such a catastrophe?
To be honest, I don't know for sure what we would do. I don't think our house is in much danger of a flood but what about a tornado, or earthquake? Or what if a sinkhole opens up underneath our kitchen? How would we begin to replace our "junk?" Frankly, with all of the loopholes in insurance policies today and all of the potential disasters (car bombs in Times Square) I'm not sure we could ever be protected enough. Man, I'm worried.
But then I got to thinking, all of the stuff we are trying to protect is doomed anyway. It is, every last bit of it, fleeting at best. Cars will die and rust away. Pictures will fade and be forgotten. Even gold and silver will lose its value. Much as I hate to think about it, my precious wife and kids are going to die one day, or I will first. The only thing that we have that is really "protectable" is our absolute confidence in Christ and His ability to give us hope and peace. No wonder Paul says, "We fix our eyes, not on what is seen but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal." II Cor. 4:18. Now I'm not diminishing the devastating loss of our neighbors and friends this week. They are crushed and rightly so. But when the waters recede and our pain abates, and it will, it might be good to reflect on the fact that nothing of lasting value was taken away from us. Even the loved ones we lost have the potential of being reunited with us in eternity.
So it seems there is a way of ordering our thinking that causes us to remember what needs to be remembered. This world is just a pass through place and we are citizens of another Kingdom. We need to keep our focus on that place. Hey, when we do that there are no floods high enough to get to us. Now, where are my waders?