"...then the waters would have overwhelmed us..." When I saw these words in Psalm 124, my mind went back to pictures of Ike's devastation on the Texas coast.
Friends of mine who owned a home in Gilchrist don't have that house anymore. Family members on Tiki Island, barely north of Galveston, experienced significant loss. The waters have overwhelmed many.
My brother-in-law, a pastor in Orange, Texas, has been through Rita, Gustav, and Ike with a devastating house fire in between. Rita ripped the roof off the sanctuary of the church. All was rebuilt just in time for Ike to take a shot at it. Thankfully, it withstood much better this time.
The waters have overwhelmed many people. Many coastal residents have decided enough is enough. They are looking for jobs and homes in the cities and towns to which they evacuated. They've lost more than possessions. They've lost dreams. Understandable. I can explain, understand, appreciate, and respect that.
What gets me is the spirit of those like my brother-in-law who take hit after hit and keep going. Repair ANOTHER roof. Cut up ANOTHER fallen tree. Wait for electricity ANOTHER week. How do they do it?
Take the whole 124th Psalm into view. Back up to the beginning. "If it had not been the Lord who was on our side..." Whether we realize it or not, God is always on our side. He never left our side. He created us. Thus, He created our side.
If it hadn't been for the Lord, then "the waters would have overwhelmed us, the stream would have gone over our soul...the swollen waters would have gone over our soul" (vs. 4-5).
Certainly the swollen waters went over the seawalls, the coastal borders, and all barriers of land and man. But not the souls of the saints. God is the keeper of the soul. Nothing can touch it.
Though I haven't specifically asked my brother-in-law or my aunt or my friends how they have survived with such hope and optimism, I feel confident that their answer would echo the words of the Psalmist: "Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth" (v. 8).
Praying for all south of here...