A Safe Place

A Safe Place

Between you and me, I think *The Sandman is still in business, but has expanded his field of expertise. Recently, I have spotted quite a few sandbags lined up outside the houses of local residents. Unfortunately, this new venture has not been as successful, because they have proved useless in sealing the doors and outbuildings of our neighbours. Subsequently, dirty water has seeped into their houses, destroying everything it has touched.

This has been a regular occurrence across the country. The news programmes have shown many British towns submerged in several feet of sludge, while heavy sacks are piled-up in vain against garden gates, fences, and entrances.

Yep, in England it rains. It cascades. It floods. People get wet. Their shoes become soaked within 2 minutes of a downpour. Worse still, lakes with high water levels overflow, ponds with poor drainage gush into the threshold of low-lying houses and rivers with inadequate defence barriers burst their banks and flow out like miniature waterfalls.

One Saturday, Anwar met Sarah and I in town, to take us home in the car. When he had dropped us off in the morning, the weather had been glorious, but a surge of rain soon appeared, and we faced an afternoon of plump puddles. Not wanting to pay for parking, he had left the car on a side street several minutes’ walk away. Although the land is fairly flat in the town, it seemed like nearby residents had already taken precautions because large, beige hessian sacks were stacked high in many doorways.

“Expecting a flood?” shouted a postman as he handed soggy mail to a lady who was stood at the entrance of her house in a warm fleece.

We ran along the pavement with our heads bowed, jumping over little pools that blocked our way. Like most children, Sarah didn’t mind the torrent because puddles are great fun to jump into. But the deceptive morning weather had inspired her to put on cloth shoes, not the wellington boots she

needed right then. Suddenly she stopped, unable to keep up with the pace of her sprinting parents. Anwar said, “Jump on my back and I’ll carry you.”

Like a chimpanzee desperate for safety, she flew onto his back and clung on with all her might. As her dad trotted along, spine bent with the extra weight, she looked like an overgrown koala that had found the last standing eucalyptus tree.

I marvelled at how she tucked her head inside her fluffy hood then rested it on her father’s shoulders so that her face could not be seen. The burden of having to run had been lifted. The terrible weather remained constant, but she was suddenly warm, protected and being carried to her destination.

This father/child relationship was reminiscent to me of how our God desperately wants to carry us when the journey gets too much.

How he desires to lift us up during the storm and protect us from the cold wet splashes!

Sometimes, we need to get wet in order to grow like plants, but at other times, like when the rivers burst their banks, he wants us to run to him, so that the waters do not drown us.

I love the idea of clinging onto my daddy, in total surrender, just like Sarah was doing on that drippy morning.

The bible says:

I will be your God throughout your lifetime, until your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. (Isaiah 46:4 NLT)

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. (Isaiah 43:2 NLT)

May God bless you all.

Excerpt from, ‘God Loves Children’. * See chapter entitled, ‘Tweens: Swollen Rivers’

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