From Flooded Out To Flooded With Faith: A First-Hand Recollection

In this blog I would like to explore the effects that the 2016 flooding in Baton Rouge had on my 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 my humble opinion 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 sheetrock 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 

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 bathtub 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. 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. 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. God often does His best work when we are weakest.

If you are nearing the end of a marriage, job or other major life events, 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.”

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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