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Withstanding the Floodwaters

Today’s Reflection

NOAH’S STORY teaches us that before the floods rise, we need to build something that will withstand them. We need God’s guidance to build something that will last. In therapy, we use emotional “tools” to manage distress, gain relationship skills, regulate emotion, and remain mindful. When the floods come, our emotional arks built with these tools can help us withstand the floods of personal, family, and cultural struggles. Time spent journaling, attending and engaging in therapy, or in prayer and meditation may seem a waste of time to some, but they are the spiritual and emotional tools that help us withstand the trials that will surely flood our lives at some point, if they have not already.

—Angela D. Schaffner
Revealed: What the Bible Can Teach You About Yourself

From page 122 of Revealed: What the Bible Can Teach You About Yourself by Angela D. Schaffner. Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What “emotional arks” help you withstand the floodwaters? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.
—Genesis 7:17-18, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Jesus, help me to see myself in your Word, so that others might see you in me. Amen.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 15 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller March 8, 2019, 3:33 am

    Being silent, listening, and then praying help me through the valley.

    Thankful that Mary is teaching again. I do think floral work is also a blessing, but you are a teacher. This is a good setting for you.

    Prayers for Mary with cancer and bone fractures.

    Thankful for Julie’s rock prayer and detailed, focused prayers for the UR family.

    Prayers that in follow up meetings to the UMC general conference God will provide wisdom and direction on a topic that is divisive. God knows best, may we clearly discern God’s will. Thank You, Lord.

    Prayers for positive results with Marcy’s surgery and treatment. So thankful this is happening. Prayers that Anneliese will receive the care and treatment needed for her serious spinal problems and that home health care is soon in place. Thank You, Lord.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 8, 2019, 4:51 am

    Thanks Robert!

    I was about to sign my letter if appointment when I received a call from a neighbor that her son needs tuition badly. My two other students have progressed to secondary school and I am still coaching them.

    Robert, may your move be a smooth one and may God bless you with good neighbours and a church where you and your soy can attend together. May Erich get a good job there too.

    Blessings!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 8, 2019, 6:42 am

      I journal, pray, memorize scripture, reflect, your prayers, friends and sister whom I can share deeply with and get advice.

      All the above help me to withstand the flood wayer.

  • Rusty March 8, 2019, 6:18 am

    My emotional ark is my relationship with the Lord, my prayer, prayers of others, and how he touches my heart and opens my mind when I least expect it (although I should always expect it). A couple of weeks ago I mentioned here that I’ve had undiagnosed dizziness and balance issues for now almost 7 months that have caused me to be isolated. What I don’t think I said was that my doctor had referred me to a famous national level hospital system and clinic for a full intensive work up (of the type for which that clinic is world renowned). I’ve placed a great deal of hope in that for the past month or so, awaiting scheduling so I can hop on a plane with K and go there to get fixed.

    I found out this past Monday that that clinic has declined my referral. They said no. I don’t get to go there, after all. That had me reeling, for a couple of days.

    Then God helped me see the ark just arrived for me. It is the ark of his love, my prayers, and (most importantly), prayers of wonderful Christians like all of you. He made clear for me that it’s not any famous clinic that will rescue me out of this. It’s my reliance on Jesus and the body of Christ.

    He, in effect, sat me down and told me: I’ve been given some eye and balance exercises, and I should do those. I should pray. I should pray for others. I should trust him. And I should just start living again – and know I’m on the ark and will arrive safely at my destination wherever he takes me.

    And I’m starting to feel better. It’s working! Praise him,

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 8, 2019, 6:44 am

      \o/ praise God!

      May you have a speedy recovery, Rusty!

  • Betsy March 8, 2019, 6:50 am

    My emotional arks include Bible reading/studying with others, prayer and the support of Christian friends. I often tend to pull into myself when faced with struggles, but when I reach out I’m always rewarded with love and care.

    I also pray for the UMC of which I’m a long time member. Using Ephesians 4 to guide my prayer of unity and forgiveness. Heal the division and help the leaders to move ahead.

    Praying for healing, Rusty, for your balance issues. God is in control. Also, prayers for Mary and her teaching opportunities. You love it so. Robert, praying that Annelise can experience comfort and healing. Blessings to all who visit here.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 8, 2019, 5:19 pm

      Thanks Betsy for your prayers!

      May God bless you and your family abundantly!

  • Edy March 8, 2019, 6:50 am

    My ark is meditation and preparing for Cursillo. Writing pals can for all the team and candidates. Writing my “study” talk” and praying, Lextio Divina, praying, reading the Bible, less news and much less TV time. It all helps me prepare for my reward in heaven. A close friend was referred to Hospice yeasterday and I will be her Hospice volunteer. Pray she has a swift calm transition to heaven. Also please continue prayers for Bill.

  • Edy clemons March 8, 2019, 6:51 am

    My ark is meditation and preparing for Cursillo. Writing pals can for all the team and candidates. Writing my “study” talk” and praying, Lextio Divina, praying, reading the Bible, less news and much less TV time. It all helps me prepare for my reward in heaven. A close friend was referred to Hospice yeasterday and I will be her Hospice volunteer. Pray she has a swift calm transition to heaven. Also please continue prayers for Bill.

  • Edy March 8, 2019, 7:22 am

    Sorry about the double reply. I meant to say Palanca ( which is a Spanish word for lever) it literally means to act as a lever to boost new Christian leaders by encouragement. That can be writing letters , prayers and whatever encouragement that one can think of to empower women at Cursillo weekend to make a friend, be a friend and bring a friend to Christ. ULTREYA, edy

  • Julie March 8, 2019, 8:14 am

    Praying and the prayers from the UR family help build my ark.
    Rusty, I went to a world renowned hospital for consultation when no doctor in my area could determine why I had open wounds of gangrene on my fingers and toes every winter. The result: I was doing it to myself. I then saw a hand doctor near in my area who took one look at my fingers and said I had the worst case of Reynaud’s syndrome he had ever seen. Perhaps the denial was a blessing in disguise. World renowned facilities are not always the answer.
    Prayers for Mary and her selflessness and giving of herself to others.
    Prayers for Robert, Eric and Annaliese, may Anneliese receive needed medical care. May the UR church executives reread their Bibles.
    Prayers for Rusty and his continued health improvements.
    Prayers for Betsy and I echo her prayers for the UR church, however if the LGBT decision stands I will find a new denomination.
    Prayers for Edy and Bill, may Bill’s surgery remove his tumor. Prayers for Edy and her friend as her friend prepares to meet the Lord and Edy support her.
    Prayers for Marcy, may her surgery be successful and may she recover quickly.
    Prayers for Andrea and her firend Mary, may her pain from cancer and broken bones be minimal today.
    Prayers for Jill and her family, may Gloria feel Go’s peace.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs dear UR family

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 8, 2019, 5:22 pm

      Thanks Julie for all your prayers!

      Thank you for your Christlike example too, always praying for all of us!

      May God bless you and your family abundantly!

  • Jill March 8, 2019, 8:27 am

    There is so much time to think and think and think while sitting with mom in her bedroom. The last 15 years of my life – it was 2004 that I had my first spiritual growth spurt…the building of my ark. God brought a wonderful women into my life to guide me along the path to God. I can’t even imagine the numbers of intense conversations we have had. She took me under her wing and patiently and fervently kept re-orienting me, living out her faith. I am not sure when I began working with my spiritual director – maybe around 2007? Another essential component to my current ark. Sacrificial relationships and studying the Word with other like-minded women, and deeply honest conversations and confessions. These, too, are part of my ark.
    It was around the holidays…the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 – a “thing” was to claim a word for the New Year, to pray about it, etc. My word was Sovereignty. I asked God to clearly show me what He wanted me to understand about Sovereignty, His Sovereignty. To clear away misconceptions and to know and appreciate Him. Well – of course He was faithful. Let’s learn about My Sovereignty with your diagnosis. Let’s learn some more by caring for dad, during his health issues a few months later and ultimate diagnosis of prostate cancer. Ok, done reeling yet…how about mom’s cancer. I say, with a wry smile on my face…be careful what you wish for. But really…if you ask boldly and humbly (I think both are possible) – He will reveal more of Himself. And, at a pace which He knows you can handle, because He is with you each step of the way.
    A few mornings ago I was overcome thinking about this…and my friend. She stuck with me and was His instrument.
    So – all of these thoughts swirl and I am grateful. And, yet, I am stymied by…why wasn’t someone similar brought into my mom’s life – to prepare her for this trial? Or – there was someone and the opportunity was missed? The depression too heavy for a break through? Ahhh…questions for Heaven.
    I continue to be snuggly surrounded by your faithful prayers. They mean so much to me.

  • Gail March 8, 2019, 8:42 am

    Bible study with a small group, and individually. Attending Sunday School and church and maintaining relationships with others. Regular physical activity, individually and in a group (Silver Sneakers).
    I have also sought counseling and medical treatment when in crisis. I retired. I recognized that I was not able to withstand the stress of my work as well as before, and I turned 65. So it was time.

  • Andrea March 8, 2019, 7:26 pm

    I thought I had posted today but see my post isn’t here. My ark is composed of my husband, my daughter and her family, my friends both here at UR and in my vicinity, being out in nature, music, sewing, prayer, and meditation. As I have alluded to recently, my husband and I have not been getting along well at all. Both of us are “off,” snapping at each other and being critical and negative, and I know part of it is him but I think more of the fault is mine. He has been my rock for so many years and I love him deeply and pray we get back to being loving with one another. I pray I will be more loving, that I will clearly demonstrate my love to him. I so appreciate Julie’s prayers and ask for continued prayers from UR friends.

    Rusty, I had a friend with a dizzy/balance problem. It resolved with the exercises she got from a specialty clinic. It sounds like you already have the exercises. For her, the problem did take a while to resolve, although now she prefers not to drive at night or on freeways. I will keep you in my prayers, and I will keep all dear UR friends in my prayers, for the needs you express and the people you name.

    I will be out of the country this month from the 10th to the 19th, on a knitting cruise in Norway with three friends. I do not plan to buy WiFi on the Norwegian ship since it is very expensive. WiFi is free and quite accessible on land in Norway and I hope to follow the readings and your comments when we go ashore. You will be in my prayers every day. We are expecting very bad weather this weekend in Minneapolis so my neighbor and I are going to the airport tomorrow to spend the night there, and our plane is scheduled to leave on Sunday afternoon. I ask for your prayers for my husband while I am gone and also for safe travels for my friends and me to Norway and back. Thank you so much. Love and blessings.

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