We are in no danger from where we sit, which is something not to be taken for granted. There are many people across town who live by overflowing rivers and streams that have swelled well past capacity. In our small community, roads are being closed, crawl spaces are being filled, and foundations are holding their breath as water creeps closer. The entire southeast and midwest have been experiencing torrential downpour for what seems like weeks leaving yards, belongings, days and moods soggy at best and life threatening at worst.
Filling yet another rainy day inside is easy for boys who are finally home from Christmas travels and anxious to play with all the new goodies and gadgets they had to quickly leave behind after morning opening was done. For me, my initial plans to pack up, clean and organize before the new year hits changed instead to holing up in my comfy spot to download pictures, stare out the window and think about the ground that just doesn't seem to be able to soak up anything else.
I never claimed to be an exciting person, but quiet and consistent are lovable characteristics too, or so I'm told.
If you follow our May Days, you may be familiar with my oxymoronical thankful rant. A few weeks have gone by and in that time my music loving husband and I were sitting in a car when he asked me to sit and listen to a new song by one of my personal favs, Sara Groves. She has a knack for writing songs that will surely be on the soundtrack of my life. I sat, as commanded, listening intently about hearts that are built on floodplains. The head of the nail was indeed hit.
No matter what pictures we conjure up in our heads, deep down we know nobody has it altogether, but there are those who it seems are constantly knee deep in their own troubles, helping others out of theirs, or at least walking and wading along side. Their actions and hearts keep them living in a floodplain, a place in the midst of where frequent, overwhelming, past capacity experiences occur. It's not as if the individuals are sitting and waiting for danger to come to live out heroic dreams or hoping for the other shoe to drop so to speak because life with drama is so much more exciting. The truth comes somewhere in the bridge, because it brings us to our knees.
Somehow we convince ourselves, I convince myself, that troubles come from punishment alone. As if there is a giant tit for tat system that must remain tied at all times. When truly it comes just because this is not our true home, and God apologizes not at all for reminding us through a variety of things where we are created to be and long for, a lesson that tends to be the ending point of all my questioning. Counting it all joy comes from being intimate with your creator and savior, being on your knees in lament and thankfulness alike. Being drawn closer through conversation and sharing. As a child of God lessons learned are not so much because of what we see, experience, and learn but what we are shown, brought through, and taught. Semantics maybe, but Truth for sure.
Living a life of faith in Christ is not a paved road to paradise as Christian learned frequently in the classic Pilgrim's Progress. It's a rocky, curvy, covered with roots, dangers, and sometimes human-eating trolls road. Kyle Idleman warned us that "following Jesus will cost us something...it always costs us something" when he was questioning a Christ follower's true commitment in Not A Fan. And Jesus himself was more than a little upfront when in the gospels he told that rich young ruler that eternal life would come from giving up all he had to follow Him. (Mark 10, Matthew 19, Luke 18)
Try as I might to store up pretty treasures on earth and to race as fast as I can to higher ground, it's not where my heart is calling me to go, it's not where God is commanding me to go. When I look inside it's very similar to the view outside my window. This stretch of grass that looks as if it can't handle one more thing poured upon it, will in fact soak in the storm, soften from the experience, and grow greener full of faith that when the next thing comes it will be no different. Although I make no promises that there won't be some angry stomping in the puddles, I rejoice because I have Truth that brings Hope. My heart is not my own, it was purchased long ago, and for now it's residence is the floodplains on the earth until I'm called Home.