October 28, 2004
Encouragement for Today
When the Storms Come
Mary Nash, Speaker Team Member
They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. He guides them to their desired haven. Psalm 107:28-30 (NKJ)
The 2004 Hurricane Season is still young but my home state of Florida has had to deal with four major storms in only six weeks' time. The good thing about hurricanes is that you know they are out there and that they are constantly moving in your direction. If you are smart, you will certainly prepare your home for high winds and educate your family on what to do when the storm hits. The bad thing about them is that no matter how much people prepare, homes get damaged and lives can be lost. You may think you are out of harm's way when the storm suddenly changes directions and heads straight for you.
Sometimes life seems like a hurricane. The winds and waves toss us back and forth, constantly causing us to wonder where God is and what He is doing about these storms. No sooner is one problem taken care of than a bigger problem takes its place. We become discouraged and wonder when the storm will end. We decide that riding out the storm is no fun and waiting on God is frustrating. Storm debris begins to collect all around us and it seems more than we can handle. So we throw our hands in the air and give up, or get down on our knees and finally give it all to the Lord. We tell him what He already knows, that we cannot handle our problems by ourselves. We need His help.
Storms will always be a part of life. Sometimes, we cause them and sometimes they unexpectedly knock us into a complete cycle of turmoil and depression. God has given us the antidote for those stormy seasons. He simply says, "Come closer, my child." When we give in, crawl up in His lap and let Him draw us nearer to the cross, we can then lay every raging storm at the foot of that cross. Life problems may not improve but our way of dealing with them will change. Giving in to God's unconditional love means we give up trying to control our own lives.
During the storm, we board our windows and take great care not to let any part of the storm get to us. Things can grow very dark and the wind howls around us. But the storm does end and we will walk into the sunshine again praising God for making it through. If we cry out to God, He will still the storm within us. If we draw nearer to Him, He will never leave us alone. He delights when His children call on him, sees each tear and knows each sorrow of our heart. But He never forgets. He always wants us to come to Him, resting in the eye of the storm we are facing.
Hurricanes are so named because they contain rapidly moving winds. They are known for their erratic paths and constant movement. But they will pass by. I often have to remind myself that whatever problem I am facing will not last forever. I will one day walk out of the dark clouds into the Son light of His love. He will still my storms and I will know His peace.
My prayer for today:
Dear Father, when the storms come, please help me fall on my knees and give them to you, the One who can give me peace and a safe refuge. Thank you for your sheltering wings and constant love. Thank you for hearing me in my distress and always calling me to come closer. Amen.
Make a list of your current storms. Offer each one to God. He is big enough to handle them.
Ask God to strengthen you and equip you for every storm. What are some of the preparations that are needed in order to face the next storm?
Make time to talk to God about everything in your life, the calm seas as well as the storms.
We can be prepared for storms if we stay prayed up.
When you find that God is all you have, you'll find He's all you need.
Storms don't last forever. Start looking for the calm.
God will never push us away, He only says, "Come closer."
"May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." Numbers 6:26 (NIV)
"The Lord gives strength to his people, the Lord blesses his people with peace." Psalms 29:11 (NIV)
"Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble." Psalms 119:154 (NIV)
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you." John 14:27 (NIV)
"He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him." Luke 8:25b (NIV)
Coming Out of the Dark by Mary Southerland
P31 Woman Magazine