Driving home from the airport this weekend was a frustrating experience. First, it was a Saturday in the summer in the Outer Banks, so I got caught in the stream of people coming from the north to check in to their beach cottages for the week. I landed around 4:00 and thought that I would be behind the surge. I had forgotten that check-in time has moved from 3:00 to 5:00 to accommodate a longer cleaning time between guests.
Then apparently there was an accident ahead of me that took some time to clear, which was followed by a torrential rain. The rain came down so hard I could barely see for about twenty minutes.
During that time NPR broke in with an emergency alert. It was already stressful enough, but that sound of ERRRRT—-ERRRRT——ERRT blasting though my car speakers was unnerving. The alert was a flash flood warning for the county next to me. I was driving through a good deal of standing water and could see how easy it would be for creeks to suddenly overflow.
Do you know what to do if you get caught in a sudden flash flood? “Turn around, don’t drown.” Attempting to drive through a large area of moving water is dangerous and sometimes fatal. People have died trying to drive through water that suddenly swept their car away.
In our Psalm today, the writer describes a time when the raging waters were coming over the necks of the people, but God saved them from the torrent:
Psalm 124 (Common English Bible)
If the Lord hadn’t been for us—
let Israel now repeat!—
2 if the Lord hadn’t been for us,
when those people attacked us
3 then they would have swallowed us up whole
with their rage burning against us!
4 Then the waters would have drowned us;
the torrent would have come over our necks;
5 then the raging waters would have come over our necks!
Can you name a time in your life when God saved you from some form of rushing water that threatened to overtake you? I have a friend who has been battling the floods of alcohol abuse overtaking her life. Her drinking almost cost her marriage, her home, and her family. Just at the point where she was pinned underwater and unable to breathe, she called out for help. Months later, she is now restored in every aspect of her life. God did not hand her over to the enemy of addiction. She escaped because she turned around.
6 Bless the Lord
because he didn’t hand us over
like food for our enemies’ teeth!
7 We escaped like a bird from the hunters’ trap;
the trap was broken so we escaped!
I don’t know what kind of flash flood you may be experiencing right now, but I know this for certain…God is with you. God is FOR you. Do you hear him sounding an emergency alert over some aspect of your life? God is waiting for you to turn around so that you won’t drown.
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
Our help comes from the maker of heaven and earth! Rise up and shine.