While on my visit to Gulfport, MS, last week, I drove along US 90 east from New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina's devastation is obvious even now, a year later. I was struck by this particular building showing how high the water surge was in the town of Slidell, LA. I wanted to drive through Slidell because my father lived there as a child. It seemed like a quaint old town. It was obvious, however, that recovery still has a long way to go.
I was thinking of a spiritual message behind this picture. We go through life experiencing the inevitable floods of trial and difficulty. Even as Christians we are not immune; in fact, Scripture says we should expect to suffer (John 16:33). So we should be grateful whenever the floodwaters subside and we're able to walk on smooth, level ground again.
But as this picture illustrates, it's important to remember our past trials, so that we're not caught off guard when they return. I learn from this picture that it's good to journal, to reflect upon our sufferings, to share our stories with others -- so that we can learn vital lessons about ourselves, God, and life that will help us endure the next flood with grace and wisdom.