Life is not all about video games. If that were the case then none of us would leave our homes to experience what is in the great outdoors. I would imagine that everyone reading these devotionals are from different areas of not only the United States but possibly the entire world. I personally live in an area called the Mississippi Valley; it is a long, scenic stretch of land that hugs the Mississippi River. I can actually see the great river from my front porch, and it has provided excellent water and nourishment for the lush environment I live in. This year the river has provided something else for the denizens of the valley, involuntary swimming lessons.
The problem with living next to the 4th largest river in the world is that it doesn’t always want to play nice. The river rises and falls depending on how much precipitation the Midwest has received, and this last winter broke records in that department. As a result, the river has risen to dangerous levels and is flooding many rural areas including my own community. I live on a bluff in a town called Quincy, so thank God my home is safe, but my neighbors are not so fortunate. All the sandbags, levees, and flood barriers in the world can be set before the river, and that won’t do any good if the water gets too high.
In a way, this circumstance reminds me of the Gauntlet games. These titles were best remembered for being mindless hack’n slash action games that required very little thinking and tons of button mashing. The reason for this is due to the fact that enemies flood the screen and overwhelm our heroes until they are able to destroy the source of the surge. Much like an actual flood, the barbarians and wizards of the game would have to fight, fight, and fight some more to keep the numbers from becoming too much to handle. The game could get very hard, especially when you can not find the stray portal that is spawning all the enemies. It was best to play this game with friends so that they could help you stave off the waves of baddies, but even then it might not be enough.
Even though God promised that he would no longer destroy the world with a massive flood (Genesis 9:11), that does not mean that there will not be spiritual floods in your life that will overwhelm you. Have you ever heard the phrase “God will not give you more than you can handle?” Well, I hate to break it to you, but that phrase is not in the Bible. The actual phrase is found in 1 Corinthians 10:13 and it says this:
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
God provides a way out of the temptations that flood us so that we will not be forced to sin. The same cannot be said for hardships. I believe that God can, and does give us more than we can handle on our own. And you see, that’s the point! Because we cannot handle everything ourselves, we need a God who can lift the burden for us. If there is something within your life that has flooded you with doubt and discouragement, know that you do not have to take on that giant alone. Listen to what the Word says in Psalms 138:3: When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.
There is an iconic scene in Kingdom Hearts 2 where Sora is surrounded by multitudes of Heartless; the nasty little monsters that threaten the happiness of everyone in the world. The on-screen counter says that there 1000 enemies to defeat, and Sora must systematically cut through every last enemy, only to fight a boss shortly after that. The odds feel overwhelming, but that is when help arrives in the form of Donald and Goofy, as well as the great keyblade master himself, Mickey Mouse. As strong as Sora is, even he needs help to defeat the darkness around him. We are the same way. We cannot take on all the trials of our lives by ourselves, we need help; a Savior’s help.
If you are struggling with hardships in your life that seem too big to take on yourself, cry out to God for help. It says in Psalms 34:17 “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.” Don’t worry and have faith; God is listening and will save you from the flood.