The Lord rules over the floodwaters.
The Lord reigns as king forever.
(Psalm 29:10 NLT)
When you leave home, you should always expect to find yourself outside your comfort zone. Otherwise, you really aren’t gaining much from the experience; we leave home to see more of the world, experience new things, meet people.
While on this trip to Peru with my family, I’d already had plenty of experiences. My biggest fear was the mega-earthquake they’ve been predicting for decades; aside from that, I couldn’t picture myself in the middle of a real crisis.
Then the floods began. Water is rising from the rivers—the Rimac, among others—and it’s swallowing entire towns. Some people have drowned in the water; others lost their homes and everything they owned. It’s not over yet, either; we are waiting for things to get worse.
I am in a part of Lima where, thankfully, the water hasn’t reached the streets. It doesn’t mean we didn’t feel the effects of the disaster; in Lima we may not see floodwater, but we are struggling to find clean water anywhere.
When I first opened the tap in the bathroom sink to find it dry, I got worried but thought it would fix itself before the day ended. I was wrong. Soon a day had passed, then two, and everyone in the district was gathering water from the park in buckets to wash the dishes and keep bathrooms clean.
If you’ve ever spent a summer day deprived of water, you know how we depend on it to keep sane. The fact of knowing there’s water brings you peace of mind; if the heat gets unbearable you can jump in the shower or wash your face. For three or four days, we didn’t have that.
I know plenty of people don’t have the luxury of tap water, but if I hadn’t found myself at a park gathering it in buckets, I would have no experience to use as comparison. I would never know how precious water is.
There is an emergency water tank above the apartment where we’re staying. For some reason this tank had broken at the wrong time; thankfully, after three days it was fixed. When there was water again, how we cheered and praised God!
We are blessed with an emergency tank, but a great deal of Lima is still without water. I am praying for them, and hope you will, too.
From this ordeal, I learned the value of water. I learned about desperation, crisis, and the power of a community coming together—neighbors we’d never spoken to suddenly became friends. Above all, I learned about God and our dependency on Him.
We don’t realize how cozy we’ve gotten until we’re forced to step into the real world. I have learned how fortunate I am, and that things I take for granted now can be gone in a heartbeat. It saddens me to know that parts of Peru are still suffering, not only without water—they have lost their homes.
We are not invincible, and all this time I had been underestimating the gift of water. While I don’t think God has caused these floods, He used this time of discomfort to help me grow. It all caused me to ponder, How much can I endure when something vital is taken away? How deeply can I learn to trust in Him above all things?
Most of all, Can I learn to see Him in the darkest of situations, when I’m not as cozy?
I think the greatest lesson I learned is that God is present in the storm. He doesn’t cause the tragedy; He never does anything to hurt us. He is, however, always with His children to comfort them. He comforted me through this storm, and He will comfort you through yours.
I’m still afraid the water will be cut off (those floods go on every day.) This time I will be ready, knowing I won’t be going through it alone. If the water is cut off again, I will wait and seek shelter in Him.
As Scripture so beautifully puts it:
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
(Psalm 27:14 NLT)