They found her today, drifting there in the middle of the chaos of flood and hurricane, clinging to her mother’s lifeless body. She is only three. She has probably learned all kinds of words and phrases and ideas in the past year of her life. I remember when Emerald was three, and she handed me her cup. Here ya go, precious lady! she said, and I giggled and watched her big blue eyes and promised myself I would never forget it–such a grown up thing to come out of that tiny, heart-shaped three year old mouth.
I wonder where the little girl in the flood will find the vocabulary to express what she has been through today. I wonder where she will find the heart to survive the tragedy of watching her only mama, that precious lady, drown before her eyes. Her mother was trying to save her. And she did. The dear little girl was rescued from the swirling, teeming water by nameless men–heroes who keep going back into the turmoil of a world washed away by Hurricane Harvey.
So many stories are emerging from the wreckage of south Texas. But, this is the one that wrecks me. One tiny girl, clinging to the body that brought her into this world, holding tight to the mama who gave of herself in every possible way. Plucked from the choppy water. Kept by God. Sheltered by her sweet mother and a multitude of angels.
I’ve read of another mother who sheltered her baby in the water. She made a basket of reeds and placed her chubby son inside, shoving him out into the unknown, just grasping at the chance to save his life. He, too, was kept by God and guarded by angels until he was plucked from the treacherous waters of the Nile river.
Maybe one day someone will tell the little rescued Texan about baby Moses. Maybe eventually, when she begins to wrestle with the truth that God’s ways are higher than ours, when she wonders with heartbreak what hurricanes have to do with the glory of God, when she looks toward Heaven and cries out to her maker, Why?–maybe the church will be there with answers from God’s word. Maybe she will find a local body of believers who will take her in, who will nurture her with the good and true words of the Bible. Maybe she will find comfort in the greatness of a God who always has a plan, who wastes no storm, no heartache, no tragedy.
We need churches who will be there for her and for millions like her. Churches who refuse to bow at the altars that this world erects. Churches who unapologetically proclaim that God is sovereign and He is trustworthy–yes, even here, in rushing flood waters in Beaumont, Texas, in August of 2017. He is good, even here, in the death of one heroic mother and in the life of her cherished three year old daughter. He is powerful, even here, when the why is easy to ask and hard to answer. One thing we know for sure: He is righteous.
The God who directs the wind and the waves does what He will. But, we must never forget, when we look at this sweet three year old miracle, that the God of the hurricane is also the God of the rescue. His ways are high. His purposes are good. And, His church should always be a light on a hill for those who wonder why. I pray that my church will be that. I pray that yours will, too. And, I pray that this sweet baby will one day run into the arms of a church that will teach her the truth that God had a good purpose in all of it.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the
winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8:27
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.