The night of June 21, 1972 was rainy and cold, but otherwise ordinary, but when before daylight the next morning I heard the sound of running water, I knew something was amiss. My brother and sister in law were visiting with their year old baby, Linda was nine months pregnant, and when I stepped out the front door to the porch, I could see the water lapping at the boards. We needed to get out! The creek beside our driveway was normally about eight feet down, but that night it was swollen to knee deep in our front yard.
We quickly gathered clothes together to evacuate, but there was one problem. In our driveway behind our car, blocking the way, was a brown Rambler that wasn't there the night before when we went to bed. I sloshed my way to the car and looked in the window to see a young man asleep, sprawled across the back seat. It was Dennis, sleeping off the effects of whatever he had ingested the night before. A bit of frantic hammering on the window finally woke him up, and he groggily backed his car out of our driveway so we could get to the hospital where later that day, Nathan was born in the midst of the Southern Tier flooding from hurricane Agnes.
Dennis had been in our youth group, even singing in a youth choir with his friend Charlie (if you could consider a low droning growl from the back row singing), but after graduation had entered the Navy where he began to make some bad choices, a pattern that continued for about fifteen years. We never stopped praying for him.
Dennis visited us today. We see him every couple years when he and his wife come up north from their home in North Carolina to see family and old friends. He came back to Christ about twenty years ago, and has since been faithfully serving Christ. He would be the first to tell you how far he has yet to go, but I will be among the first to tell you how far he has come. He even leads the singing for the small church he attends. Tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor! And I have a deeper appreciation for yesterday's Scripture reading that reminded me that the fruit of the Spirit is...patience. It went on to say, "In due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Be patient therefore, until the coming of The Lord." (Galatians 6:9, James 5:7). I am grateful that God doesn't give up, and that if we are patient, we will see the harvest, just as I have seen with Dennis.