Give and Take

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For four years I specifically prayed for it. Everyday.

Finally, God answered. No one else could do what He did.

Rain. A month of Heavenly rain. Ending the drought that had plagued the Texas Hill Country for four years.

When I went outside that Sunday morning of Memorial Day weekend, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Lake Travis in Austin, TX, which had been over 50 feet low, had risen 20 feet since the first of May, but in 12 short hours was up an additional 10 feet!

“How Great is Our God!” Songs of thanksgiving swirled in my head. Feelings of relief filled my heart. Fears of the impending water shortage were washed away. For four years I had prayed for the lake to come back to a comfortable level, and God finally answered.

Sunday mornings I don’t allow myself to look at emails or Facebook or TV, but not because I am trying to be extra holy. With my tendency to get sidetracked, I don’t want to risk being late for church.

Hearing the worship pastor start off the morning with prayers for the “victims” and the “mass destruction” caught me off guard, but I was still so over-elated by the rise in the lake that his somber prayer didn’t quite register.

After returning home, my husband flopped in his recliner, turned on the TV, and prepared for a short afternoon nap on that lovely, rainy Sunday afternoon.

The nap never happened. Both of us were glued to the TV for hours in complete disbelief.

How could God have done that! Why did he send so much rain down the Blanco River in Wimberley, TX? How could He have allowed that small river to rise over 35 feet above flood stage. There was plenty of room in Lake Travis, just 30 miles north, for all that water! Why didn’t He dump it there?

The pictures and stories of the “mass destruction” were horrific:

*Huge 200+-year-old trees completely uprooted.

*Homes literally washed away.

*Piles of debris over seven feet high and three football fields long.

*Home videos of swirling, dirty water filling up rooms like a washing machine.

*Front yards filled with the few salvageable pieces of furniture and belongings.

A story began to emerge, followed with more gruesome details in the days to come, that will haunt me the rest of my life. One house was washed down the river, with nine people still in it! Taking nine people who gathered for the extended Memorial Day weekend for a devastating ride in muddy, raging, dark waters in the wee hours of the morning, with one lone survivor.

That survivor lost his wife and two small children, along with five close family friends, including another young boy. Those five family friends were one of our church member’s entire family. Her entire family gone!

As I was snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug under my covers, rejoicing in the sound of pounding rain all night long, folks along the Blanco River were experiencing a real life nightmare, more horrific than any disaster movie viewed on the big screen.

For four years I had pleaded with God for rain, then lashed out at Him when he didn’t deliver. When He answered my prayers, there was rejoicing. Until I learned of the loss of lives and homes.

I spent days trying to come to grips with the whole situation, lashing out again for the loss of lives.

But then one morning God did something else that only He could do, leading me to the familiar words found in Job 1:21. Job lost everything, including all of his family, yet proclaimed:

“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. (vs 22)

Oh, how easy it is to rejoice in the Lord when we feel blessed. But what about when surrounded by the dark, muddy waters?

Please join me in praying for the McComb, Carey, Charba, and Daniel families as they deal with their losses.

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