Many of you may have heard of the recent storms and flooding in the Midwest, including Edgerton, MN, Sioux Falls, SD, as well as Rock Valley and Doon, IA. Many people from our Protestant Reformed denomination have been affected by the floods; damages include homes, vehicles, and cropland under water. I, along with many others who were spared from any damage, came out to help sandbag, move belongings from flooded houses, and help in any way needed. This was a thought-provoking experience for me, and I’m sure for everyone else involved. Some of my own thoughts included things like: This is terrible! These poor people! I also heard others say things that caught my attention in a negative way. This shouldn’t be happening. We don’t deserve this. As I thought about it, a few different things came to mind.
First, from an earthly perspective. We tend to complain so easily. I caught myself complaining while helping those in need. Philippians 4:11-13 comes to mind. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” It’s not easy, but that’s our calling. To be content in every situation.
The second thing that came to mind was that this earth is all temporal. The end times are drawing near, and though it seems surreal, the reality is that God will speak the word at His appointed time, and this earth will be completely destroyed. The Sunday before these events I heard a great sermon about the vanity of earthly things; a well-timed message before the flooding. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 are great verses to consider along with this. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Earthly possessions will not profit us in heaven.
Finally, we have to remember that God is faithful to His elect. I think most of us could quote this verse by heart, or at least will find it familiar. Romans 8:28. “ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”