Storms

the Only Hope


God will not always calm the storm, and he won’t always extinguish the fire. But His word says that you will seek Him and find Him when you seek Him with all your heart. If we seek him in time of storm or fire, we will find him there. And if the only hope we have is to know that he is with us, it is more than enough.

 

Photo Credit: Nature’s Fireworks | Right before it was about to get dark e… | Flickr

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the Welcome

As the disciples welcomed Jesus onto their boat, and as the exiles bid God to meet them in the fire, so we have the opportunity to welcome him into our storms and our fires.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Night, Boat, Sky Moon, Water, Sea – Free Image on …

In the Midst


I can’t tell you that God will grant you a life free of storms. And I can’t say you’ll never go through the fire. But I can tell you one thing: He will be with you in the midst.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Arashinami, Get Rough, Lighthouse – Free Image on …

On Storms and Fires

I don’t know much about storms. Not like my aspiring-meteorologist college friend who was strangely energized by news of impending inclement weather. While the rest of us were scrambling for shelter, he was running to the scene of action in hopes of witnessing creation’s power firsthand.

I don’t know much about fires. Not like my childhood friend’s father, who lived and breathed firefighting. He would spend days on end at the fire station, awaiting the opportunity to come to someone’s rescue.

I don’t know much about storms or fires, not in the physical sense. But I’ve been through enough spiritual storms to have learned something of worth, and I’ve lived long enough in the fires of affliction to have gleaned words of hope from the ashes.

I do know that Jesus was on the boat with the disciples when that furious squall arose, and I know he was able to speak to the wind and the waves, calming them with the power of his voice. And I know that though God did not keep the three exile boys from the fiery furnace, he was there with them in the midst, and they emerged unscathed.

I can’t tell you that God will grant you a life free of storms. And I can’t say you’ll never go through the fire.

But I can tell you one thing: He will be with you in the midst.

As the disciples welcomed Jesus onto their boat, and as the exiles bid God to meet them in the fire, so we have the opportunity to welcome him into our storms and our fires.

He will not always calm the storm, and he won’t always extinguish the fire. But His word says that you will seek Him and find Him when you seek Him with all your heart.

If we seek him in time of storm or fire, we will find him there. And if the only hope we have is to know that he is with us, it is more than enough.

 

Photo Credit: Lightning – Free images on Pixabay

What the Rain Brings

Blog_RainFlowersWe were driving through a downpour when my daughter exclaimed, “I don’t like rain. The police should lock it up and throw it in jail!” All that changed in a matter of minutes after we told her rain brings flowers, which means her birthday is coming soon. After that, she wasn’t complaining, but sighing with contentment at the sight of the deluge.

Sometimes we look so long at the rain, we forget the good it brings. We see how it hinders us from the days’ agenda, how it slows traffic…how it blocks our view of the sun. Our mouths utter complaint after complaint when the weather fails to do our bidding.

It’s interesting to think that for every person praying for sun, there’s a farmer praying for rain. The farmer sees things from a different perspective. He understands that an abundance of rain yields an abundance of crops, just as my daughter came to realize that an abundance of rain yields an abundance of flowers, promising a soon-coming birthday.

What a difference a change in perspective makes! A life without rain is a life without life. Nothing grows without rain. Nothing lives without rain. As much as it may disrupt our plans, much more would be disrupted without it.

When trying circumstances come like rain into our lives, we need a change of perspective. The rain’s not here to devour, it’s here to bring life. If you’re in the midst of a storm, just wait it out…and believe. New life will spring up in due season.

“I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.” (Lev 26:4)

Photo Credit: Freesia in the Rain | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Gone in an Instant

Tornado Aftermath from Google ImagesThe camera panned in as the funnel cloud tore through the subdivision across the street. I don’t know what the neighbor was thinking, standing by her window, videotaping the storm outside her door. Her hand was so steady, her voice so calm. If it were me, I’d be running for cover, even with the funnel cloud moving the opposite direction. But she seemed oblivious to imminent danger.

It must have been surreal, watching the world as she knew it come crumbling down before her eyes. Did she fear for her own life? Her own family? Her own house and things?

This tornado hit down about an hour from where I live—closer to home than any twister yet. For the woman behind the camera, it was inches away. Did the reality hit her as hard as it hit those across the street?

We see videos of hurricanes, tsunamis, typhoons, or tornadoes and are struck with the horror that faces the victims along with the fleeting thought of what if it happened to me? The thought washes away as quickly as the storm as we return to our daily lives. Are we ever sufficiently gripped with the reality that much of what we labor for could be gone in an instant? Can we honestly say what we invest our time, energy, and resources in is worth it if it can be so easily be destroyed?

I once watched a video of the Indonesian tsunami’s aftermath, and was taken by all the stuff floating through the water—stuff people had once invested their lives in…gone. More recently, I spoke with a woman who lost everything but her family to a fire. All she and her husband labored for…ashes and soot.

How easily we convince ourselves that material things are worthy of our labor, while the important things slip away unnoticed until tragedy strikes. The storms are ever closer, bidding us to open our eyes. Live for what’s important. Live for what truly matters. Live for what lasts. Don’t waste precious minutes fretting for that which is destined to fade. Stop. Now. Consider what’s truly worth living for.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Gone in an Instant

Tornado Aftermath from Google ImagesThe camera panned in as the funnel cloud tore through the subdivision across the street. I don’t know what the neighbor was thinking, standing by her window, videotaping the storm outside her door. Her hand was so steady, her voice so calm. If it were me, I’d be running for cover, even with the funnel cloud moving the opposite direction. But she seemed oblivious to imminent danger.

It must have been surreal, watching the world as she knew it come crumbling down before her eyes. Did she fear for her own life? Her own family? Her own house and things?

This tornado hit down about an hour from where I live—closer to home than any twister yet. For the woman behind the camera, it was inches away. Did the reality hit her as hard as it hit those across the street?

We see videos of hurricanes, tsunamis, typhoons, or tornadoes and are struck with the horror that faces the victims along with the fleeting thought of what if it happened to me? The thought washes away as quickly as the storm as we return to our daily lives. Are we ever sufficiently gripped with the reality that much of what we labor for could be gone in an instant? Can we honestly say what we invest our time, energy, and resources in is worth it if it can be so easily be destroyed?

I once watched a video of the Indonesian tsunami’s aftermath, and was taken by all the stuff floating through the water—stuff people had once invested their lives in…gone. More recently, I spoke with a woman who lost everything but her family to a fire. All she and her husband labored for…ashes and soot.

How easily we convince ourselves that material things are worthy of our labor, while the important things slip away unnoticed until tragedy strikes. The storms are ever closer, bidding us to open our eyes. Live for what’s important. Live for what truly matters. Live for what lasts. Don’t waste precious minutes fretting for that which is destined to fade. Stop. Now. Consider what’s truly worth living for.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)