This week my home city of Cedar Rapids is cleaning up. Cleaning up from a flood that didn’t happen. At least not like it could have. Early last week my children were talking in the back seat about the rising waters as we drove over the bridge. We prayed for our city and then one of my children spoke up and said “It’s not our city. It’s God’s city and He can stop the water.”
“No He can’t!” the other child shot back.
“Actually He can.” a third child inserted. “He can even move mountains.”
So, I pulled off the bridge and wandered through the maze of closed streets until we could get as close as we could to the temporary barrier of sand and black plastic. The children piled out of the van and tromped over where the drains were starting to back up into the streets. As I kept the little ones from playing in the water the second son raised his hands and prayed. He prayed that the water would stay in its banks.
And it did.
I can’t take credit for stopping the flood of 2016, but I believe there were people who had faith for something other than destruction. Not the least of which were my small children and I am grateful we acted on the faith we had in that moment. I can’t prove it made a difference but I believe it did. Tonight, I’m wondering if this week wasn’t practice for a greater test of faith. Earlier this summer the LORD tricked me into taking a short trip with my husband and two oldest children to the small island country of Haiti.
And He broke my heart.
Not with pity. Not with shock. With love. I was simply overwhelmed with His love for this small country. Today that little country is facing another in a sorted history of disasters. To me this is not a news report. I have friends down there now. Friends who might not live if this storm hits. Friends who have no where to run from winds and waters that tear and pillage.
My dear friends. I know each of you has something that is dear to your heart. Some place that is special to you. It may not be Haiti but I’m still asking you to join with me. I’m asking you to open your heart and let love and faith for some place not your own, to enter in and speak through you in prayer. I’m asking you to stretch out your hands with me and tell the water to stay in its banks.
I simply cannot imagine finding out in twenty-four hours that the amazing boys we spent the week with have been swept away, or that the women we prayed for were left stranded with their little ones. If Hurricane Matthew hits as intended the flooding and mudslides alone could wreak havoc. Not just in one city but in the entire country! (Hurricane Matthew) Last week I acted on the faith I had and wandered down to the waterside to pray. Tonight, I have faith to ask you all to pray. To quiet yourself and hear God speak out through you for this island country. To let Him proclaim peace to the storm through His powerful Holy Spirit. If you are willing join with me…
I believe you are still the God who walks on waters. Who speaks and the waves are stilled. I believe that You listen when we cry and I believe you delight in showing mercy. I also believe that you have a new story to write in Haiti. I believe that You are starting something new and I believe it begins with mercy. Father, I have no magic words. No super prayers. I’m simply asking that you stop the storm. That it does not hit these islands. None of them. I pray that it dries up in its tracks and that you supernaturally protect the coast. I pray for peace in Haiti. For healing in Haiti. For your love to stretch out as that impenetrable banner over each person there. LORD release your hand against the storm. Stay the waves and the winds and speak a new destiny over this land. I ask these things in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.