The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
client login


      Perhaps like you, I have experienced a host of storms and floods in my lifetime. I was really too young to remember Hurricane Betsy in 1965 but I do remember Hurricane Camille in 1969. My family was involved in Music Week at Gulfshore Baptist Assembly and we actually left the coast on the day prior to the day (August 17…my 7th birthday) when Camille made landfall. The resultant storm surge and flooding from both of these “ladies” was significant.
          Mississippians have experienced numerous other storms, floods, and wind-related challenges in the past 50+ years. I recall the “Easter Flood” of 1979 when I was in high school. As a teenager, I had the opportunity to assist families and businesses in Jackson and surrounding areas that were affected by the tremendous flood. I recall the “May 8” flood in New Orleans that occurred while I was attending NOBTS. The front-page headline in the Times-Picayune referred to that flood as “A Flood of Biblical Proportions.”
      Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi coast 16 years ago today (Monday) and was an incredibly devastating and damaging storm fueled by high winds that covered 100 miles in breadth and traveled well into the northern part of our state. While differences are many, the current Hurricane Ida is being compared to Katrina on several levels.     
      Natural disasters of the magnitude of those noted above garner the attention of everyone in the path of the storm and others affected in some way. Sometimes, however, storms and floods in life are not of the H2O variety. Floods of doubt, despair, disease, divorce, depression and even death may gush forcefully into our experience and no amount of sandbagging seems to be of any value. I’ve told folks in the past “If you haven’t experienced a storm or flood in your life, then you just haven’t lived long enough yet.” The point is that no one is immune or exempt from the floods of life. The question to answer is “What should Christians do when floodwaters rise?” A 3-part answer to this question stemming from Noah’s experience presented in Genesis would first focus on the need to:


Stay in Touch with Your Father (your Heavenly Father)

      The sad state of society in Noah’s day caused great grief to God to the point that He sought to wipe the crowning work of His creation off the face of the earth (Genesis 6:5-7). Why? Because God is a holy God and He must punish sin. A great flood was the manner in which God determined to exact judgment on His creation.     
      Noah, however, found favor in the eyes of the Lord because he was “righteous, blameless, and he walked with God” (Gen.6:8-9). Noah’s fellowship with God and his obedient followship of God is underscored by the repeated “as God commanded Noah” (Genesis 6:22; 7:5, 9, and 16). As such, Noah knew God as a God of Promise. When God stated, “I will establish my covenant with you…,” Noah knew that he could take God at His word. God’s covenant promise first came as God announced devastating judgment. God’s promise included Noah, Noah’s family, and living creatures. God’s promise also included precise instructions for building an ark (Genesis 6:14-16) and fellowship with God enabled Noah to see the way that God was leading and have the wisdom to follow Him. Later, God sealed His promises to Noah with a bow (rainbow) in the sky.  
       Noah’s life demonstrates how important one person can be when they are genuinely in touch with God. God has made many promises in His word including “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst” (Matthew 18:20) and “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5) and “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).     
      Noah also knew God as a God of Presence. The promises noted earlier highlight God’s continuing presence. God’s continuing presence and involvement with Noah is captured with the statement “God shut him in” (Gen.7:16). The Lord himself shut Noah and his family inside the ark. God does not promise us immunity from the flood experiences of life but he remains present in the midst of difficult days. In the floods of fear, frustration, and failure God is (“our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” Psalm 46:1). In my own human frailty, I believe that I may have felt deserted…shut up in a floating vessel with no way out. Noah stayed in touch with his heavenly father. He knew that God was a God of Promise and a God of Presence. Perhaps Noah was the original author of the words, “I’ve seen him in the lightning, heard him in the thunder, and felt him in the rain. My God is near me all the time; My God is near me all the time.” When floodwaters rise, stay in touch with your Father.


Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for being a God of promise and a God of presence. Thank you for being an ever-present help in times of trouble. Thank you for loving me in such a way that your son would dwell among and die on a cross for sinners like me. Thank you for doing for me what I could not do for myself. Amen.