[PC-USA] 2004-09-03 - Storms

Encore 2003-07-11

Recently we experienced tremendous storms, complete with tornadic winds, as well as rain so heavy that it washed the topsoil away from our yard. I was at a workshop when the tornado warning was activated. My boss, colleague and I tried to wait it out for a couple hours, till there was a "break." But then we learned that there would not be a break all night long. We simply had no choice but to drive through the storms. Please note: I don't recommend that unless it's absolutely necessary!

But isn't life like that sometimes? We are in the midst of heart-rending pain. Broken relationships that leave gaping holes in our hearts and lives. Cancer that engulfs our bodies and the lives of our families. A job loss that leaves us reeling. Perhaps just "everyday" stress. Some people try to medicate the pain with alcohol or illicit drugs. Others dive headfirst into relationships that are harmful to them spiritually, emotionally and perhaps even physically. Still others try to distract themselves by working longer hours, filling every minute with activity etc. There are a myriad of unhealthy "coping" attempts.

But sometimes we simply have to "go through" the storms- feel the pain, lean into it to get through it. And at times, it seems more than we can bear. But God will provide all we need for this stormy travel - spiritually (church support; prayer; Bible study), emotionally (good friends and family, and sometimes professional counselors) and physically (rest, exercise, food).

Isaiah 43:2-3 (The Message) When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end--Because I am GOD, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!

But we have to avail ourselves of these blessings. We have to reach out to friends. Rarely can they read our minds. Sometimes we go around in a snit, because we think our Christian friends are letting us down, when we haven't let them know we need them. We have to pray, even when we don't feel like it. The feelings don't have to be there; God will meet us exactly where we are. We have to read the Bible, even if we don't feel like it, as well. It will "pay off" eventually; I guarantee it.

If you are going through storms in your life, I hope you will pray and ask God to guide you through them. Sure it's fine to ask for removal of the storms, and sometimes God will oblige. But other times, we simply have to live through the storms. Most often, we will grow through them (if we are open to it) and God will use that pain in the future, to help others.

And as the late author C.S. Lewis said, "God whispers in our pleasures, but He shouts in our pain."

What is the storm in your life today?

Jan

[email jan] cfdevpray@juno.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org