If you have ever been in the midst of a series of thunderstorms, then you have probably witnessed a flood. Flooding and flash flooding is often the result of extended periods of rain in a single location, and it occurs most often near streams or rivers. When it has been pouring for too long and the soil has soaked up too much water, rain begins to collect, expanding the width of a river’s reach. I don’t have to tell you how dangerous flooding can be. When a large amount of water is moving through areas that it should not be, it can bring about destruction of property, harmful effects to the environment, and even loss of lives. My family recently waited through a thunderstorm that caused a flash flood. As we watched the storm through the window of our house, it appeared to us as if the street we live on had become a river of it’s own.
As the wind and rain pounded the roof of our house, and as the waters continued to rise, I began to see a similarity between the flooding that was happening outside and the flooding the was happening in my life. Even though you may be a Christian, there will still be times when you feel like your life is being flooded. You might be saved and on your way to heaven, but that does in no way guarantee that you will never experience dangerous waters here on earth. There have been many times when I feel like I’m being pounded by hard times—like I’m being hit by one thing after another and they just won’t cease in coming. Have you ever been in that position?
The Floods of Life
You might be experiencing a financial flood, and the waters of debt might be building up by the second. Maybe you’re in the middle of a relationship which has been rained out. Perhaps the stresses of life are simply beating down upon you, and you’ve found yourself stranded in high waters. Whatever it may be, it would be wrong for me to say that a flood is not a dangerous place. You might be in a dangerous place right now, but if so then there is something else you need to know about floods. When a flood occurs, it can leave behind a nutrient rich deposit of soil. Everywhere that the flood has reached has the opportunity to become more fertile and ready for crop production.
An Opportunity for Growth
If you’re facing a flood in your life right now, then remember that the potential for calamity is also the opportunity for growth. This is what Paul has to say about it:
“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
Growing Up in Christ
We are reminded in Ephesians that as Christians we are to be growing up in Christ. No matter what is going on around us, and no matter how others are responding to it, we are to be becoming more like our Savior in every situation. In the previous chapter, Paul instructs us to be rooted and grounded in love, and Jesus Himself told us in John 15:9 to abide in His love. If we are not remaining in His love, how can we continue to grow in Him? When the storms of life come, causing the flood waters to rise, our foundation must be the only Rock who has fully loved us with a perfect love. The more grounded we are in Him, the less the floods are able to destroy, and the more they act as opportunities for growth.
In Matthew 7, Jesus uses the illustration of a man who constructs his house on the rock, and we see that the house built on the rock is able to withstand the flood because of where it has been grounded. Being grounded in Christ means more than just knowing about Him. It means the He is living inside and through us, and that because of His sacrifice we have been granted eternal life by faith. That is a solid truth and foundation.
Though the floods of life are uncomfortable, and even dangerous, they can be the very point of growth in Christ. They call for perseverance, and as we persevere they are able to test the growth that has already occurred. Don’t expect to never get flooded out, even if you are on the path that God has planned for you. But during the flood, remember Who it is that is your foundation, and remain in Him as He produces the growth in your life. Paul leaves us with this reminder in Colossians:
“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.”