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Girlfriends in God - July 18, 2012

July 18, 2012
Lord, Please Turn Down the Storm
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed” - (Psalm 107:29, NIV).

Friend to Friend
We live in Kansas City where summers normally include some pretty fierce thunder storms. Our three-year-old grandson, Justus, is not a fan. The driving rain, loud thunder and often violent lightning frighten him. We have tried to reassure Justus with such logical explanations as the thunder is nothing more than God rearranging the furniture in heaven and lightning is the angels setting off fireworks. I know. He didn’t buy our explanations either.

We normally keep Justus one night a week to give his mom and dad a little break and to get our “Justus” fix. He is a little hunk of joy that lights up the world and makes you feel like you are the most important part of that world. After picking him up for our weekly date, we headed home but got caught in a torrential downpour. As the thunder boomed and the lightning cracked, Justus put both hands over his ears, hoping to shut out the frightening sound of the summer storm. Dan and I kept reassuring Justus that the storm would pass. Dan said, “Mimi and Papa are right here with you, Buddy. It’s okay!” It was not okay with Justus. In total frustration, he turned to his Papa and exclaimed, “Papa. Do something! Can’t you pwease turn down the stowm?”

I have often prayed basically that same prayer. “God, can You please turn down the storm in my life? Can’t You make the thunderous chaos go away? And the flashing pain is so hard to handle, Lord. I am scared.”

I have a friend who loves to sail. When I asked him if he had ever been caught in a bad storm, he responded, “Many times!” I shook my head in disbelief concluding that my friend was obviously a glutton for punishment.  Of course, I had to ask, “Then why on earth do you keep sailing?” His answer was profound. “Mary, every sailor knows that there will be storms. You just learn what to do when the storm hits. In a severe storm, there is only one thing to do and only one way to survive. You have to put the ship in a certain position and keep her there.”

The same is true in our lives. When the fierce storms of life overwhelm us, there is only one thing to do if we want to survive those storms. We must position ourselves in the right place – in the hands of God – and He will keep us there until the storm has passed.

The words of the psalmist are filled with confidence and hope when he writes, “He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed” (Psalm 107:29). We really can trust God to bring peace and to reduce the fiercest storm to a mere whisper. The faithful provision and sustaining comfort of God at work in our life depends on the character and heart of God and our willingness to trust Him.

I love my children with all of my heart. Naturally, there are times when they make me very angry. They make wrong choices and sometimes even disappoint me, but if they are hurt, sick or in trouble, the anger, disappointment and even disobedience is overruled by my love for them and a driving need to comfort them. If my imperfect heart responds to my imperfect children that way, think about how the perfect heart of our heavenly Father responds to us.

Richard Fuller writes: “This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you. Reason cannot help you. Past experiences give you no light. Only a single course is left. You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may -- winds, waves, cross seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers -- no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness and his everlasting love in Christ Jesus.”

We can face every storm with confidence, knowing that God will redeem it for good. We can trust few things in this life, but God’s faithfulness is one of them. When the hard times come, and the storms roll in, trust God and hold on. He is with you.

Let’s Pray
Father, I want to thank You for Your faithfulness in my life. Forgive me when I let fear and doubt take over my heart and mind instead of choosing to trust You. Give me eyes to see the treasure buried at the heart of every storm and help me to choose joy -- even when I don’t understand what You are doing in my life. Teach me, Lord. Let my life be an illustration of Your strength perfected in my weakness.   
In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn
Read Hebrews 12:12 (The Message) “So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs.” What does it mean in your life to “take a new grip” and “stand firm” even on shaky legs?

Do you really believe we can experience joy – even in the midst of the fiercest storm?  Explain.

Looking back at the storms in your life, how would you rate your response to those storms? What changes do you need to make in order to experience victory?

Memorize Proverbs 3:5-6 and record it in your journal. Share your decision to become a woman of faith with other women who have the same desire. 

More from the Girlfriends
Looking for a Bible Study? Check out Mary’s E-Book Bible Study, Strength for the Storm. It is also available in Videodownload, CD, and MP3. A daily time alone with God in prayer and Bible study will strengthen you to face whatever life throws at you. Check out my weekly online Bible study, Light for the Journey, for practical ways to tap into the power of God’s Word. Enroll now and have access to all 2012 lessons. FREE MP3s on Mary’s website in the Freebies Section!

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