The Cleansing Flood

I once worked in a church in North Carolina for a summer that seemed to know a couple of songs much more than others.  One of them was "Victory in Jesus."  The other was "In the Garden."  I can still hear the refrain of "Victory in Jesus" ringing out with the appropriate southern drawl.

Oh, victory in Jesus, My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood

He loved me ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him

He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood

It was sung with gusto every time.  And that was many times that summer.

That's kind of an unsettling image, that whole "cleansing flood" thing.  You can almost picture a big old river of Jesus' blood washing away some sin.  Kinda gross. 
But, ya know...

That's kind of what floods do.  They wash away a lot.

We didn't have a flood here on Sunday, but we came pretty close to having one.  We had, as of Sunday evening, 6.93 inches of rain fall in a 24 hour period.  Someone else told me that he had registered 13 inches of rain in a 36 hour period.  I can't find where that figure comes from.  It seems high.  But we DID have a lot of rain.

We have a couple of little streams that run by our house and we had a brand new one on Sunday evening.  We had lots of water in our back yard but it doesn't look like any water came into the house.  Other places in the community had culverts washed away and river banks eroded.  I know of one family that evacuated their house.  Our fire department oversaw the arrival of 200 sandbags to the community in case of emergency and, if the rain had kept up, they would have been used.  I had three friends out hunting who were stuck in their cabin as they endured torrential rains for 48 hours with 70 mile and hour winds.  Other hunters had to be rescued.

We live in a rain forest so we're used to a lot of rain.  However, we're not used to it coming all at once. :)

I took the following picture of Glacier Creek on Sunday evening after Youth Group.  This was as high as I've ever seen it.

It looked a lot better the day after.

This "almost" flood washed out roads and cleared new paths down the mountains and moved streams and washed away trees.  The rains washed the grounds and, I'm thankful, cleaned up a lot of the dog waste that's a constant presence in this community with so many dogs.

The flood cleans.  It wipes away.  It makes things new.

And, as I looked at the mountain (Alyeska) on Monday, it was clear that the rains brought a whole new look to our environment.  The snow is coming.  The changing of the seasons is here.  We can, very visibly, look forward to the ski season.

Here's how it looked on Monday...

And, perhaps, so it is with the "cleansing flood" of Jesus blood.  The old stuff, the waste, the debris, needs to be washed away from our lives.  Sometimes it happens through the constant sprinkle -- the everyday experience of living one's life in the presence of God.  But, sometimes, the floods come...and it's a deluge of grace.

Isn't that what the "Victory in Jesus" is all about?