“The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”-Psalm 145:14-16
Over the last couple of weeks, my family and I have been assisting flood victims in Louisiana. Some people lost all possessions, but by God’s grace, they have their health and each other. Perhaps a first thought is “it’s all materialistic and can be replaced.” Imagine everything you intimately know – your house, furnishings, pictures, and treasured items, GONE. It is easy to get overwhelmed and depressed when looking at the destruction and loss. God is good and in the midst of the chaos, He prevails. I thought I would share with you some “It’s a God thing” moments we have experienced over the last week.
My husband coordinated collections at his office for the flood victims. One of the donations received was a brand new Red Rider tricycle. He thought to himself, who is going to need this item? During his weekly bible study, there was a discussion about a particular family who lost their home. He pulled together items from the office’s collection and knew they had a two year old, so he grabbed the tricycle. When the delivery was made, the dad saw the tricycle and a big grin broke out on his face. It turns out his four-year old’s bike was salvaged, but the two-year old’s bike was lost. Now he has a new tricycle!
We drove to Texas this past weekend and picked up donated items from my mom’s church. We initially were renting a tiny U-Haul to bring back some furniture and told her we could bring back some items, but keep it small and simple-cleaning products, toiletries, and gift cards. We said no clothing because 1) we won’t have the room and 2) none of the staging centers are accepting clothing at this time. My husband received a call from the U-Haul place and they did not have any of the small trailers available for us so they would give us the next size up for the same price! Guess what? We had PLENTY of room to bring back all donations!
Even though we specifically said “no clothing” someone donated four trash bags full of various clothing items. We knew of two families with a total of five children who could use clothes. Since we had the room in the U-Haul, we decided to bring it home and sort through it all. Would you believe the majority of the items were the perfect size for at least two of the children? To think we were not going to bring back any of the trash bags filled with the hidden treasures!
Mom’s church also donated several gift cards. As we were driving back home we stopped in Rayne, LA for gas. We pulled up to the pump (remember, we have the U-Haul) and an older gentleman on the other side asked my husband, Randy, if we had been flooded. Randy had a puzzled look on his face and said “no, why do you ask?” The man pointed to the U-Haul and Randy clarified we were bringing back donations from Texas for the flood victims. He then told Randy he lived fifteen miles from Rayne and they received 5 inches of water in their home. I heard the last part of the conversation and asked Randy if they had flooded and he said yes. I took a gift card out and handed it to Randy so he could give it to him. They pulled away from the pump and came around to talk to me. He and his wife thanked me and said it would be put to good use. She asked me where I was from in Texas and told her I grew up in Spring, Texas. She had a big smile on her face and said their son lived in Spring, Texas. God sure does make the world seem smaller!
It is a blessing to look back and see God’s hand at work. This is what I choose to focus on, the good news, not the devastation. A few weeks back all I could hear God tell me was “be the hands and feet of Me” and I now see the fruit of following His direction. We will continue to reach out and help those we can, one family at a time. Please continue praying for the families and businesses who suffered losses due to the recent floods. Blessings!