"When some basic need is lacking…"

It is hard to know what to say these days in our area.  So many people we personally know, go to church with, go to school with, do ministry with, do life with… so many, many lives have been completly altered over the past 3-4 days.

We had a terrible storm with several days of rain. Homes and neighborhoods were flooding. People were being rescued. Then the rain stopped. And we all thought the worst part was over… Only to be completly surprised when places and people who thought they were safe began to be floodded. It is devestating. I don’t even know what to say… so maybe these pictures will help…

A nearby Christian school.  The pictures taken of this school are unbelievable… The scoreboard gives a perspective on how high the water is…

This is our Kohls… I know… it’s just a store – but I know those people that work there – and I know that merchandise… and I just hurt for businesses and people who have lost so much without any warning…

Our Target…
Our church.  This picture makes it look like it sits on a beautiful lake.  NOT!  This is actually a lower parking lot that has many steps descending into it.   

The Grand Ole Opry.  The beautiful and historical Opry House is under water. 

The incredible Opryland Hotel is under water… causing many jobs to be lost as well…

As a family, we are ready to do what we can to help who we can.  But there are so many more needs than my mind can even begin to comprehend.  I’ve prayed constantly for these dear people affected by this storm, alternating between prayers for their strength and prayers of deep gratitude that we were spared this heartache.  

I was asking the Lord for something to help put this into the perspective of His Truth, and He led me to the little book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.  Here is the entry on April 30 – the day before this tragedy struck our area.  It is a comfort to me as I watch and pray from the outside, and I pray that it will be a comfort to any who are in the midst of this (or any other) trial in life.

When some basic need is lacking – time, energy, money – consider yourself blessed.  Your very lack is an opportunity to latch onto Me in unashamed dependence.  When you begin a day with inadequate resourses, you  must concentrate your efforts on the present moment.  This is where you were meant to live – in the present; it is the place where I always await you. 

Awareness of your inadequacy is a rich blessing, training you to rely wholeheartedly on Me.

 
The truth is that self-suffiency is a myth perpetuated by pride adn temporary success.  Health and wealth can disappear instantly, as can life itself.  Rejoice in your insufficiency, knowing that My power is made perfect in weakness.”

 
The Apostle Paul put it this way (and the Message words it freshly):

At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”  2 Cor. 12:8-10

The Lord has used this present devestation to fuel my gratitude toward Him for everything He has, is, and will do for all of us.  I had been feeling a little down about our own situation until all of this happened, and am ashamed for the personal pouting I did last week.  I’m so thankful that the Lord understands our weak frames, and loves us beyond anything we can deserve!

I am praying for anyone who reads this – asking that the Lord infuse YOU with His Strength, His Presence, His JOY in the midst of your day, and His Provision for your every need!  He IS faithful… no matter what it looks like at the moment… He IS, HAS BEEN, and WILL ALWAYS BE faithful. 

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;”
 
Lamentations 3:21-25 NIV

With love to you all…
Jennifer

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com

Comments

  1. Thanks Jennifer for sharing these photos. Down here in Mississippi they don't show us alot of pictures so now I have an idea of how bad it really is. Praying for you all and glad you are safe and dry.

  2. I am honestly at a loss for words – praying that the Lord will allow this to be a tremendous opportunity for you, your family, your church to minister to and affect your community…. The pictures are heartwrenching –

  3. Smelling Coffee says:

    Thank you so much, friends! Thank you for your prayers and concern. And thank you for asking the Lord to use this in the lives of many! May the Lord truly become "The God of this City" (as Chris Tomlin's song declares!)

    Jennifer

  4. Your post is beautiful…may it comfort hearts that read it that need to be comforted. May the God of all comfort reach down and touch hearts and lives. The pictures are heart breaking….and so devastating to so many lives. God is drawing all sorts of people to Himself….May this tragedy be used for good in many lives for all eternity and may they be drawn to Him and crawl up in His arms. Bless you and your family as you start on your new ministry.

  5. Yes! Praying and praising at the same time. Thank you, Jennifer, for taking the time to share this.

  6. These pictures give me chills. Life can change so quickly.

  7. A FB friend sent this link. I had considered visiting with my MIL for Mother's Day until I saw my passage way. I had no idea it was that bad. Prayers to you guys.
    I also noticed we follow some of the same blogs including the Gift of Mercy!!!

    Prayers to you guys. As you see needs arise I would be interested in seeing what I can do to help. We are a days drive away.

  8. Wow. There just aren't words when I see those kinds of pictures. You're right.. jobs lost, so much destroyed, memories destroyed. It's just so sad. Praying for all of you as you deal with all of this.