All We Need

by May 29, 2020Article

All We Need

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina, category 3, made landfall in southeast Louisiana right over New Orleans. New Orleans is actually under sea level and the storm surge overwhelmed the levee system, flooding 80% of the city. Overall about 1,245 people drowned and total property damage was estimated at $108 billion. Thousands of people were stranded for days on their roofs – it was horrific. I watched my home state disintegrate and felt that the Lord told me to go. I was leading worship that Sunday at LifePoint and announced that I was compelled to go. At the end of the service, there was a line of people that also heard the heavy call of God to respond and go.

We got a team of nurses and carpenters together and headed to Baton Rouge, my home town, where many evacuees had been bussed into the River center. I will never forget walking in – terrified. I looked at the sea of cots and people and their need and despair hit me like a wall of water – I literally went into the bathroom and threw up. I cried out to God and said, What am I doing here? What do I do? What do I have to offer? I felt God whisper – I am with you. Just go love on them one at a time. I am here. Look for me.

So I walked out into the sea of people and my eyes looked over the swarm and fell on this old African American woman, sitting in a lawn chair, her eyes shut, looking…almost regal. I felt drawn to her and walked over and knelt beside her chair and took her hand. I said “Hi. My name is Tricia and I wondered if you need anything? Could I do anything to make you more comfortable?” She opened her eyes and said – “Hey sugar baby. My name is Bessie. I gots my Jesus. I gots all that I need.” She picked up her big black worn-out and well-loved Bible, emphasizing her words with that one powerful gesture. She told me that she was rescued from her house with the clothes on her back and her Bible and everything else was flooded. There, in the midst of that chaos, and fear and grief and loss, she rested with an unearthly strength and peace and I saw the truest Love in her beautiful old eyes.

That little corner of a huge arena became a sacred, holy place for me, and I prayed over Bessie and we worshipped. I then rose to my feet with an awareness of Living Water flowing through me. I went on that day to serve others in a new strength. I return to this altar again and again in the midst of the storms of life. Even though Bessie had lost everything, she had everything in the Person of Jesus. She had all she needed. She gave me such a gift that day and even now, tears well up in my eyes. She not only knew who she was but Whose she was! She knew she belonged to Jesus even though her belongings were swept away. She was so present in the moment in love instead of living out of a place of fear.

 

Father, thank you for Your amazing love. May Your love ground us. We lift our eyes to You. May we focus on You and Your truth when we face uncertainty and fear and loss in life.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our planet forever – only God knows all of the ways. Many of us have suffered greatly and have lost people we love. Many have suffered financial losses and are not sure of the future. Others of you have been given a great gift of rest and enjoyed quality family time and recaptured a simplicity and wonder of quiet connection. Whatever your experience and response to this pandemic, remember who you are before God. You are loved. Remember to Whom you belong. You are His and nothing can separate you from His love. You have all you need. Close your eyes and rest in that.

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