August 8, 2013
The Perfect Storm
Lord, you are my strength and my protection, my safe place in times of trouble (Jeremiah 16:19, NIV).
Friend to Friend
The comfort of God is faithful and strong - even during the fiercest storms of life. I enjoy movies that have a happy ending. My family constantly teases me about my surreal perspective of movie entertainment, but honestly, life holds enough reality. Why would I want to pay good money to see even more reality made bigger and more frightening on a gigantic movie screen? When the movie, “The Perfect Storm,” was first released, the previews suggested it had a happy ending. I should have known better, but we love the water and really, how bad could it be?
We bought tickets, popcorn and drinks, found the best seats in the theatre and prepared to be entertained. Wrong! Every scene showed tiny boats caught in the grip of frightening waves and fierce winds. I kept waiting for the storm to die down so everyone could go home with a boat full of fish to their anxious families who were confidently waiting for them on dry land. Crash! Another monstrous wave belted the boat and crew. By the end of the movie, I never wanted to set foot on a boat again and was worn out from trying to get everyone home where they would live happily ever after. I was tempted to demand a refund because of false advertising. Believe me, there was definitely no happy ending but I did come away with a new fascination and deep respect for the sea.
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, lightening, 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.
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’s name, amen.
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?
More from the Girlfriends
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