God Of This City

I live in Nashville, where we are experiencing a natural disaster of historic proportions.  We received  more rain in 2 days than Nashville historically has seen in all of May… which produced massive widespread flooding unlike anything this town has ever seen. Homes by the hundreds (if not thousands), popular attractions and landmarks and entire parts of the city are buried under water.  Historic downtown Franklin… the Gaylord Opryland hotelscenic Bellevuedowntown Nashville… the Grand Ole Opry…  entire interstates… completely flooded. (photo courtesy of Kelsey Wynn)

The steady stream of live news, Twitpics, videos, images and media over the past 48 hours have been almost numbing.  But there is no time to be numb, because there is loss, devastation and people who need help just about everywhere you look.  I am grateful that I did not experience any personal loss, but my heart is just broken for the many who lost so much.

You can really never explain away the pain caused by this kind of destruction.  It is a sobering reminder that we are not really in control as much as we like to think we are.  In his new book, “Plan B”, Pete Wilson talks about the illusion of control, saying “the greatest of all illusions is the illusion of control.” I don’t know if I have ever personally witnessed a greater example of that in my life than right now.

Stories of complete destruction are being written all over Nashville.  But in the midst of the chaos and hopelessness, other stories are also being written… stories of redemption and restoration… stories of community… stories of survival… stories of hope.

All day today, the song “God Of This City” has been running through my head.  As I watch the constant twitter stream of images and damage reports, I find my heart singing…

You’re the God of this City
You’re the King of these people
You’re the Lord of this nation
You are

As I watch the news reports that the Cumberland river is continuing to rise even at this very moment, and people all over this city grasp for hope and ask “what now?” while others ask “how can I help?”, I’m singing…

You’re the Light in this darkness
You’re the Hope to the hopeless
You’re the Peace to the restless
You are

But as the waters continue to rise, they do not rise alone.  I cannot escape an overwhelming sense of hope that is also rising, as this city reaches out to each other, becoming the hands and feet of Jesus to the broken.  I do not pretend to know or understand what God is doing or how He is working.  But I’ll tell you what I do know… a song is also rising…

Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this city

There is no one like our God.

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i found myself being led into prayer by the obvious need of a people & the flow of this post. beautiful song, sobering video.
thank you.


Love the song. I've sang it over our town.
You are all in my prayer.


Wonderful post. You so uniquely and beautifully explained a scene that breaks my heart. A sense of despair and heartache and surprise. But what's most amazing is how God's people are quick to jump in, help, and even take strangers into their own home. You all bring a sense of hope and a second of peace to know they have people who are helping them, even strangers. I am praying so much for you guys in hopes God will shine and glory will be His in the end.
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Great post! I love that song; what an incredible anthem to find hope in the midst of the devastation. Its been beautiful to watch the community that is unfolding in the midst of all of this destruction. My heart has broken seeing the images but hope is being birthed as I watch people be the hands and feet of Jesus.


Bro I can't even begin to imagine...when I was at my internship this morning it was all over CNN. It truly is devastating, but it is so beautiful to hear and see the hearts that are coming together out of such devastation. Keeping all of TN in my prayers...God is Lord of all.

Mela Kamin
Mela Kamin

love that song ... I can hardly believe the stories, the pictures, the video - so hard to see, but much harder to witness first hand. I'm just a visitor to the area and I'm stunned. My Nashville & Brentwood friends are ok, but so many are not. I'm encouraged seeing Pete's updates about the outpouring of help - that's awesome. I hope it continues from far and wide. I'm praying.
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Great post and great song!! He is the God of our city..and I can't wait to see the continued work he will do from our city....


I cannot imagine all that you are seeing, all that you are feeling, all that you have heard in the past 48 hours. I can't get past the image that as the waters rise, so does hope. As the devastation rises, so does hope. God matches the depth of our devastation with his hope, grace, and love.

I love hearing about all the stories of community coming together. That is real church!
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