Last week teams from Arapaho Road loaded up and headed out to Lumberton, TX to help with Hurricane Relief efforts. Thousands of people in hundreds of homes were trying to begin putting their lives back together after the effects of Hurricane Harvey washed away all sense of normalcy after floods and over 50 inches of rain doused the area.
As we have learned through the years, “God moves along the rails of relationships.” The week prior to our departure to Lumberton I received a phone call from a friend of mine who serves on staff as Youth Pastor at Crestwood Baptist Church in Lumberton. Aaron Beazley simply said, “Dave, we could use some help.” After talking through what that might look like, we made arrangements to send teams in shifts throughout the week to help “mud out” homes and help bring some hope to the people of that devastated area. My friend, Neil, a pastor in flood affected areas of Houston, said some poignant things to his church family that impacted me as I reflected on our brief time in Lumberton.
Thinking back on our time with the good people of Southeast Texas, I could not help but remember what God told Noah to do after the flood waters receded from the epic flooding from 40 days and 40 nights of rain that covered the earth.
“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Genesis 9:1
Fill the earth.
That is what was happening as I saw Christ followers not only from Arapaho Road Baptist Church in Lumberton, but also teams from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Utah. More were on the way. Others had just left. The area was being filled with good works sent to help and bring hope as we tried to point people to Jesus.
Fill the earth.
That is what God wants His followers to do wherever we happen to be and whatever we happen to be doing. Fill the earth with goodness and blessing and love and peace and care and empathy and encouragement and selflessness. If we stay in our homes and on our devices filling our time with social media and technology, but never find ourselves engaging in the good works that God created beforehand for us to walk in and experience, we are missing our opportunity to FILL THE EARTH just as the Lord commanded.
May we be people who fill the earth this week be that in Lumberton or at a lunch break. May we be on the lookout for those who have been feeling like their lives have been under water with negativity, stress, relationship difficulties, health problems, or whatever may be flooding their lives. Be a follower of Jesus who is intentional about filling the earth with the goodness of God this week. Look for opportunities to love your neighbor and bless the city. As you do, you will be filling the earth as a follower of Jesus and making disciples along the way.