As of this writing, large portions of Britain are flooded, and more than a third of a million people are without safe drinking water. Thousands are homeless, and up to 50,000 are without electricity. And it's not certain that the rain will stop soon. Even when the skies clear, there's still the massive job of cleaning up afterward. News reports also tell of floods and landslides in Indonesia and floods in China as well.
Although I don't live in these areas, my heart has been with all people affected by the disasters, and my prayers have been for their safety during the floods and for their health in the cleanup.
Something that I've found really helpful is from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Jesus contrasted two different builders. One built on sand, and when the wind and rain descended, the house fell down because it didn't have a firm foundation. But the other person built on rock. Jesus said of this house, "The rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock" (Matt. 7:25).
To me, the house Jesus is talking about isn't necessarily a physical building, but our individual spiritual "rock" – the place where we can go for strength when something like this severe flooding happens and human assistance or comfort isn't enough. This rock is the Christ, the message of God's love for each of us and of His presence in our lives.
The conviction that God is strengthening us to go forward is what has helped me overcome conditions that have seemed overwhelming. Even in the face of deep trouble, I never hesitate to remind myself, "I know that God is with me and will guide me to the right answer for this problem. I'm not alone."
I found this to be the case when my office was burned, and the threat of loss was great. When we finally were able to go inside, we found that the most important document had been preserved, even though a large part of it had been near where the fire started. Much work was involved in restoring order, but the same God who strengthened us during the fire also guided us in the next phase.
People in the flooded areas around the world will face different challenges as they begin to clean up their homes. Floods can leave behind sewage and other contaminants that are thought to pose the threat of disease for people exposed to them.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, studied Jesus' life and teachings in great depth to bring out the Science – the repeatable, healing results he achieved – behind his work. She wrote in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "The supremacy of Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built" (p. 138). Understanding this supremacy even in a degree helps remove the fear that disease may be transmitted or that it is an inevitable result of the flood.
In my prayers for flooded areas, I am affirming that each individual is spiritual and is protected from disease by Spirit's purity. No material element can enter infinite Spirit. Nor can it affect Spirit's offspring, who are made in its image. Spirit also provides intelligence and wisdom to its children, and these qualities will help keep people safe.
Each resident affected by the flood will have his or her own experience of God's care, whether this comes through the discovery of precious objects that survived unscathed or through help from neighbors and friends in restoring the home to order. And by our prayers to know God's presence with each one, we will be helping their efforts to rest on the rock, the Christly truth that God's love is always with them.