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 hotel… scenic Bellevue… downtown 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
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
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.