I lived near the Mississippi growing up and still remember the flood of ’93. Today I took a bike ride to photograph some of the Rock River flood of ’08. I know it isn’t quite as mind boggling as housing falling into the river (Wisconsin Dells) or entire towns underwater to their roofs (Mississippi flood of ’93), but I found the overabundance of water pretty amazing. Especially since I now live just a few blocks from the river.
I wonder how Noah and his contemporaries felt as the water rose? As we consider the destruction that has already occurred and consider the destruction that is still to come, we should consider God’s continual covenant relationship with us. Over and over again God has been with us as we endured pain, suffering, loss and destruction. Some people might need to curse and scream at God. Fine. That can be healthy, look at Job who remains faithful to God despite all of his losses. When we are rebuilding, however, we must also be thankful to God for the chance to start again.
Baptism is deeply connecting to creation and flood. By the water washing over us we have symbolism of the water destroying our sins. As we rise up out of the water we rise up to re-creation. A new life begins. Out of destruction can come new life and new opportunities. We must stay hopeful for this in 2008.
Title Image: A young girl ponders the flood waters in Janesville. Photo by Scott Carnes, Copyright 2008, All rights reserved.