When You Least Expect It

When You Least Expect It

For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God.
Psalm 69:1-2

This past Sunday and Monday, Connie and I made a whirlwind trip to Birmingham, Alabama in order to visit my grandmother who recently turned 103 as well as to visit my parents. It was a quick but good trip and I’m so glad we did it. After spending most of Monday with family, we started back home in the late afternoon. I had not checked any weather forecasts before leaving.
I was therefore unprepared for what we encountered. Halfway into the drive we hit that front of heavy rain that descended on middle Georgia. By the time we were passing through Fort Valley the flash flood warnings were confirmed. In fact, I drove through an intersection that I really should have avoided due to the deep water. I’m glad the Lord was gracious to us.
The whole experienced was a bit surreal. I had no idea what was coming. I left Birmingham under partly cloudy skies but ended up quite nervous and anxious in the heavy rains and near flood conditions.
I was reminded how life can turn and change in a moment. Life is going well and then the doctor report comes back or the phone call comes. Life is turned upside down and we are overwhelmed. As I said on a recent hospital visit, we all get our turn in the hospital sooner or later. We feel much like the Psalmist in Psalm 69.
As we saw last Sunday from Psalm 130, the Psalms are so good to give us language to cry out to the Lord in our bewilderment and pain. Waiting on Him is so very hard when we seem to keep hitting a wall. That’s when we need to cry out even more. That’s when we need each other to come alongside and help carry the burden with us through prayer and encouragement. That’s when we return to the gospel to be reminded of God’s covenant love and mercy toward His people.
May God make of HLPC a place to carry each other’s burdens. May God make of HLPC a place where new folks are folded in to our fellowship and find rest and comfort. We all need it. The floods come when we least expect them

Paul Bankson
pbankson@gmail.com

Paul was born and raised in Birmingham, AL and graduated from Auburn University in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration. It was at Auburn that he met his wife, Connie. They were married in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and moved to Jackson, MS where he attended Reformed Theological Seminary graduating with a Master of Divinity in 1991.

Upon graduation, Paul served as a Campus Minister with RUF, the campus ministry of the PCA, at Tennessee-Martin where the Banksons lived for 5 years. They moved to Macon, GA in 1996 to work with RUF at Mercer University and then Paul joined the pastoral staff at First Presbyterian Church of Macon as an Assistant Pastor in 1999.

In 2004, Paul and his family moved to Warner Robins where he served as a church planter and then organizing Pastor of Houston Lake Presbyterian Church. In December 2014 Paul completed a Doctor of Ministry degree through Reformed Theological Seminary of Orlando.

Paul and Connie have three sons, Andrew (23), Stephen (20), and Matthew (15). Paul enjoys grilling, camping with his family, and Auburn sports (War Eagle!).