Thursday, February 23, 2012

taken at the flood

There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.
-William Shakespeare

Lightning flashes.  Thunder rolls. Tropical torrents fall.

And Rachel quietly drives their motorcycle to higher ground through the wild drenched dark streets, hoping to let her weary husband sleep through it all.

By 10:30 she knows it’s not to be.  After rousing him, they begin together to shift things away from the incoming water seeping, trickling in at the door. It’s the same routine they’ve used before. Couch on top of coffee table, chairs on top of couch.  As much as possible loaded on the stair landing; pile the dining room table high.

There’s not much more that can be done.  So it’s back to bed, listening to the falling rain.  Until they hear a midnight crash.  He descends to find the dining room chairs drifting in gentle two-foot waves of the lake that was his living room.  Then he spies it: the refrigerator, on its side, floating like an ark through the flood. 

By morning light they’re smiling, joking about the lengths they’ll go to get a little help mopping their floors.  Drenched furniture mingles with soaked diapers and dripping kitchen pans perch in the sun to dry.   Mops and brooms and buckets of bleach water turned black with silt and sludge fill the house.  That ark of a fridge is righted and opened and the eggs are unbroken and there’s a casserole ready for lunch, and they’ll be living without an operating fridge til this crazy thing dries out a little.  

Rachel smiles and says it will make life simpler to have no refrigerator.

As if this flood was a good thing. 
As if all this mess, all this work, all this upheaval was really okay.

Is it a good thing? 
Well, if you believe in God’s sovereignty, maybe it is.
Maybe it is really okay.

And though He does not deprive me of feeling in my trial, 
He enables me to sing, Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, 
I will joy in the God of my salvation.  
Thus I do rejoice by His grace and will rejoice and praise Him 
while He lends me breath.  
Now I am happy in my Savior’s love.  
I can thank Him for all, even the most painful experiences of the past, 
and trust Him without fear for all that is to come.
– Hudson Taylor

There was a tide in this young woman's life, which taken at the flood determined her course.  You, Rachel, chose to not be trapped in misery despite the invasion of filthy brown street water up past your knees, filling your kitchen cabinets with dirt and your entire day with relentless back-breaking work.  You chose not to complain and be bitter and angry and understandably snappy and frustrated.  Instead you chose to go with the flow of what God allowed, and to smile and give thanks. 

Thank you for showing me what it looks like to not be bound in shallows and miseries, 
but to be afloat in a wealth of joy.

*this story of Rachel, my American friend and co-worker, is shared with her consent. thanks, Rach!


Diane said...

Thanks for sharing this story. What a great attitude Rachel has! I will try to remember and apply her responses in the frustrations of my life. Although, I can not fathom thinking that life would be easier without a fridge!

us5 said...

thank you for taking time to read it, Diane! i'm not sure Rachel's life was 'easier' without a fridge...just 'simpler' in that she didn't need to buy anything that needed refrigeration. ;)