By: Joyce Herron, Founder of Trinity Christian School, Lubbock
It was 3:15 a.m. on Monday, July 28, 1999. I was sitting on the only seat in my house, not on bricks or stilts. Being a person who likes order, I tried to make some sense of the week I had just experienced.
My last day at work before some off time was Friday, June 19. As I left the office, I thought about the family reunion before me and then my trip to Romania to train teachers in a conference. There was much to do and speeches to write. But first, I will take a few days to deep clean my home. Those were my plans.
Early Monday, I began my cleaning. I finished only one room, then went to bed pleased that I had changed the shelf paper in the bathroom.
At 2:00 a.m., I awoke with water dripping on my computer table. I called my precious son-in-law, who came to my rescue. After he and I talked about the rain for a few minutes, he left, and I went back to sleep.
I arose early on Tuesday and went to the door to get my paper. I found my street and yard flooded and papers floating down the road. The water was on my porch, threatening to come inside my house. I went to the back door and found water in my garage and entering my house through the back. A river was in front and a lake in the back. I could not leave my house.
Being a person who must “do something,” I piled rugs, towels, and boards in my doorways. It was only minutes until there were no dry spots in my home. I was wadding in water. At this point, I called for help. I called my brother, my son-in-law, and my church.
Several men from all walks of life and different church affiliations stacked my furniture on bricks or stilts and ripped up my carpet and pads within an hour. My dear friend waded knee-high to bring me food. The men brought shop-vacs. The following day, two people washed and dried wet items and packed books in boxes. My daughter helped me dig through wet pictures and videos. As we sorted through photos, I saw wet images of my late husband and treasures saved from my children’s early years in a damp, soggy heap.
Every person on the north side of the street was doing the same thing- trying to salvage their belongings. The neighbors were all dipping water.
I was in a room of men, working hard to save my furniture, when I learned my insurance would not cover any of this. I went into the bathroom and, through a few tears, reminded myself of God’s unending faithfulness to me. When I lost my husband in 1991, I claimed the scripture, “I will be a
husband to the husbandless and a father to the fatherless.” I became very peaceful because scripture after scripture came to me.
He says in Isaiah 46:4, “Even in your old age I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you. I will carry you. I will sustain you, and I will rescue you.” He reminded me of Psalm 86:7” In the day of trouble I will call to you for you will answer me.”
He says in Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
God wants us to understand that He alone is the source of help and hope. God owes us no explanations. He did enough explaining on the cross to show that His love is sufficient to meet every need.
Already, I had seen the Lord’s hand at work. On the first day, a man I do not know from a few streets over joined the men from our church and helped carry sandbags. One man donated more than 200 sandbags to people on our road.
So many people from my church came to help. My neighbors asked, “How did you hire people so quickly?” I had many opportunities to explain how the Body of Christ works.
I am so grateful to those who gave so generously to help me in so many ways. I am reminded of Matthew 25:40 when “The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.”
I must share a beautiful scene that will remain for a lifetime in my memory. Two families that I have known since their children were small came to help. The children served willingly alongside their parents. I saw the fruits of the parent’s labor. I have watched these families over the years as the children watched their godly fathers and mothers give and serve; they also learned. If I live a few more years, I am confident I will see the third generation doing the same because they have been taught to put their hope in the Lord. I believe these young men and women will lead out, and when adversity comes, they will know “those who put their hope in the Lord will renew their strength They will soar on wings like eagles, they will walk and not be faint.” Is. 40:31. My neighbors were impressed by the strength of those young people.
The Lord is so good to give us His word. His promises are new and fresh every morning. Sometimes He must refine us to prepare us for the next step.
If parents are reading this, let me challenge you to set aside time for hiding the word in your child’s heart. The Lord commands us in Deuteronomy 11:18,19, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds, tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
All the things you work for daily, the special shoes, the expensive toys, and the electronic equipment, can be gone in a matter of minutes. I trust you will ask yourself, “How much am I teaching my child about God’s faithfulness?” Can they walk through adversity? What do they know of God’s unfailing love, protection, and peace?
May we be reminded that children’s minds are more precious than crown jewels. We must protect them, train them, show them how the body of Christ works. Let them see God has hope and a future for them. Things will pass away, but the Lord will remain, and His promises are yes and amen!
As your child prepares for the coming year, may their mind be so filled with scripture that at any moment of spiritual challenge, any moment of fear, any times of doubt, they can reach into the bank of hidden treasure not made with human hands and say, “I have set the Lord always before. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my tongue rejoices, my body will rest secure.” Psalm 16:8-9.