Up to my neck...

"...waters have come up to my neck."

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"Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck."
(Psalms 69)


Once more the heavy rains have flooded the bottom near the creek, threatening to choke the life from the trees that call it home. Rising, muddy waters raise anxiety and fear about damage and destruction. If you've ever lived in a flood-prone area you know that with each encroachment of the waters there come the same sort of questions, "How far will it get this time? Do you think it will reach us this time? Can we endure another flood and the awful mess and heartache the receding waters will leave behind? Will we make it this time?"

It seems there are those who endure frequent "flooding" in their lives from things other than rising storm waters and ask the same questions. "Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck," cries the psalmist when crisis threatens once again. It's difficult when we encounter another who seems prone to flooding, whose life seems overwhelmed by crisis after crisis. As many times as I've faced those situations with others and waded with them through many a flood, I find it's still difficult to resist those first impulses to judge, to avoid, to run. It never gets any easier to wade into muddy waters, even though I consider it a sacred privilege to have the opportunity, and am always blessed in the journey.

A favorite philosophical question of our age goes something like, "If a tree falls in a forest (or flood waters) and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" What folks have taught me through their suffering is that the most dangerous time is when the flood waters rise and they feel like no one is with them, that their cries are no longer heard, that they might as well not even exist. That's when it's easiest to fall into the murkiness of the depths and be swept away forever. The psalmist cries out because he knows God hears.

I've waded through floods with others and been told they've cried out but haven't felt like God was listening. I've known those moments as well, but have survived a few floods to find later that God was listening, even when I thought otherwise. It seems to help that person when I can offer the assurance of my experience and the assurance of my presence. What I've also found is that God has used my efforts and testimony to offer the assurance of divine presence in those moments. I pray that God will give me the will to wade into the waters where someone is crying. How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my new book, "A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression," visit www.survivingteendepression.com.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24