<img class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-31″ src=”https://www.toddshupelsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/AdobeStock_131035009-300×123.jpeg” alt=”todd shupe” width=”300″ height=”123″ />
In this personal <a href=”http://todd-shupe.com/”>recollection from Todd Shupe</a>, we explore the effects that 2016 flooding in Baton Rouge had on his home and why it only strengthened his faith in the end.
As I type this on August 13, 2017, I reflect on the one year anniversary of the great flood of 2016 that damaged so many homes in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area – mine included. In <a href=”https://toddshupe.com/blog/”>the humble opinion of former LSU professor Todd Shupe</a>, there was nothing “great” about the flood; it was a terrible event for all and resulted in hardship for many. The “great” part occurred a few days later when dozens of people from my church came to my house to assist with the gutting — removal of the sheet rock up to four feet from the floor — and mucking — removal of all flooded furniture and clothing from the house. In the middle of the day, there was a mountain of debris in front of my house. Family antiques and heirlooms, treasured books and pictures, all of our beds, toys and so much more were in a mountain in front of our house. The mountain grew to include everything that was blocking access to the studs. So, the kitchen cabinets, custom-made wood shelving and bath tub and shower were added to the heap.
In the middle of building the debris mountain, I had a short but memorable talk with a long-time dear friend of mine who is more like an older brother. His name is David, just like my own brother. They are similar in many ways. My friend David was standing next to me by the debris pile. He noticed my sadness and he said to me, “The Lord says, ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; … I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’”
He quoted Isaiah 43:18-19 to me. This is a favorite scripture of mine but, like all scripture, it can have a totally different meaning to you depending on your current situation. I felt at peace and a calm came over me as he said those words and hugged me. I think back on that day and I realize without a doubt that David was not talking to me. David was merely a vessel for Christ to talk to me and deliver the words that I needed to hear at that time to provide me a peace that surpasses all understanding.
David was helping me to understand that this day was not the end — but rather the beginning of a new life. “As a child of God, I can stand steadfast that the new life will be good,” former wood sciences LSU professor Todd Shupe said recently. The scripture above was intended for the Jews, who had provoked God to send them into captivity so that they might repent and seek God. According to Todd Shupe, the flood was not a result of God being provoked; rather it was a chance for him to grant a fresh start to many of us. If you are nearing the end of a marriage, job or other major life event, I encourage you to focus on the beginning of a new life and not the loss of the old. Focus on Jeremiah 29:11, “ For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”