The effects of a flooding Mouse River will leave a mark on our region for years to come. Future generations of people will hear about "the flood of 2011."
They will hear the stories of what people today have experienced. Yet, these future generations of people will not feel the effects of the flood at any level close to what you may be experiencing today. The "emotional toll" of this flood is going to be as big as the flood itself.
Signs of the emotional cost of the flood are as rampant as the sights of debris and the smell of musty air. You can see it on the long faces of people working to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. You can hear it in the conversations about how to plan for the future. You can hear the stress in the hearts of frazzled workers and volunteers.
Rev. Kent Hinkel
How can we safely navigate these times? Where do we look for help on the road to recovery and a new degree of normalcy? Before we attempt to answer such questions, it's important to be honest about our own limitations. There are limitations to our own willpower, outside manpower, and financial resources. Our needs are greater than these resources can handle.
Long, long ago, a wise man named David experienced replenishment from a meaningful relationship with his God, Jehovah. As a king of Israel, David's physical needs may have been few. Yet, though he was a king, he looked beyond himself to a relationship with his God. David wrote these familiar words, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul" (Psalm 23:1-3a).
David's words remind us to look for our needed restoration from life's difficulties with eyes of faith and through a relationship with our Creator. Like David, we can learn to make the Lord our personal shepherd and trusting him to take care of us because of his love for us. David's experience of trusting the Shepherd led the king to say, "He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me" (Psalm 23:3b-4).
Reflections, a mini-sermon written by Minot and area clergy, will appear each Saturday in The Minot Daily News. Clergy interested in writing a mini-sermon should contact Religion Editor Loretta Johnson at 857-1952 or Debbie Sandvold at 857-1950. The toll-free number is 1-800-735-3229.
Like David, let's turn to the shepherd of our souls to find comfort and renewal in these difficult days. If we will make that choice as David did and as countless generations of people have made through the centuries of time, we will find what they found: renewal, perspective, and wisdom for these difficult days.
"No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you;
"Lean, weary one, upon his breast, God will take care of you.
"God will take care of you, through every day, o'er all the way;
"He will take care of you, God will take care of you."
The Rev. Kent Hinkel is pastor of First Baptist Church, Minot.