Today marks 17 days straight of nonstop rain. Its unbelievable, really. I haven’t seen the sun in two weeks. And in the midst of all the rain, Monday there was a tropical depression here-basically a fancy name for a really big thunderstorm.
On Sunday, alert levels were raised and we were told to prepare for evacuation. My house here is very close to the main river. Its a huge river and 7 other rivers flow into it. We needed to evacuate because the river level was dangerously high and rising every hour. With the tropical depression headed our way, it was almost certain to overflow and flood our home.
As we packed up our house, so many emotions overwhelmed me at once. I’ll be the first to admit, I have a long way to go when it comes to not clinging to things that are “of this world”. My home here is tiny and we don’t even have very much stuff. After all, I moved with two suitcases to my name- how hard could it be to pack up and leave?
But it IS hard. Since moving here, I’ve worked so hard to make this house into a home. As I started to shove things into bags, I struggled inside with what to leave behind. There is only so much room in the car and not everything could come with us.
I was scared and sad and I had a really hard time letting things go.
We finished packing up the car and waited until we were told to evacuate. In the hours that followed and even into the next day I beat myself up a little bit for how hard it was for me to leave my home behind. I thought I was living pretty simply here. Since coming back from a year around the world, it’s really been important to me to learn to how to live with less. And I have…
But I realized this week that I’ve missed the point.
I don’t think God cares so much about how much stuff we have or don’t have. Quantity isn’t really the important thing here. I think it’s actually way more important whether or not you’re willing to let it all go…
My life here is simple. My home is cozy and small. And I don’t have a whole lot of stuff. But when the storm came and threatened to take it all away, I was heartbroken and clinging to everything I could! I shoved and crammed and filled every little corner of my bags with my belongings. I closed the door and headed to a hotel, mourning the loss of everything I just had to leave behind.
And yet by the grace of God and some crazy miracle, my house didn’t flood in the storm. The river rose and the streets were flooded but the water never reached inside my house.
I woke up this morning in my bed and it all still doesn’t quite seem real. You had to be here to completely grasp how miraculous it really is that I still have a home.
But God used this storm to teach me an invaluable lesson about my heart. Things are just things and no matter how much or how little you have- hold it oh so loosely. Because it can all be gone in an instant and your heart will be revealed.
Too much of me was invested in my things…in my home. My grip was too tight.
Today I’m thankful God spared my home. But I’m also so thankful He opened my eyes and my hands, reminding me to cling more to Him and less to this world. For only He can satisfy. He is the only sure and certain thing when the storm threatens and the waters rise.
If the past few days had turned out differently and my house had been destroyed…if all I had left today was Him- would it really be enough?
I sure hope so.