Where Do You Go In The Storm?

These past few weeks, we have been reeling from the recent storms and natural disasters all across our nation. There have been hurricanes, floods, fires, tornadoes, and various fallouts because of these natural, yet horrific, occurrences. So many have been evacuated, displaced, overwhelmed and even killed in the process. It can leave a soul weary and weathered from it all.

Yesterday being 9/11, reminds me of all the turmoil and heartache that can brought in an instant. It reminds me of the precious lives that were lost and the heroes who spent their last dying breath to save another.

It causes my heart to ponder the simple question, “Where do you go when the storms roll in?” Some hunker down and ride out the winds and the waves. Some run, drive away, flee from the danger that blows in, and still others try to go back and forth, running in wisdom or fear, only to find themselves anchoring back in for the long haul of destruction, evaluation, rebuilding and praying the restructure will hold. Still others are lost for every in the disasters and debris that come tumbling down.

Where are you in the midst of a storm? How do you survive it? What or who is your anchor? Without true security and a solid anchor that holds, a ship will be beaten and worn by the mighty winds. Without a firm foundation and support measures put in place, a house will surely fall when the grounds shake. Without a firm grip on Truth and love, the storms of life will only bring destruction and heartache to your very soul.

Yet, there is Hope. There is a better way to survive the storms of life that wreak havoc on the heart and mind. Jesus is the only Hope we need. His grace is sufficient for every storm. His mercy will survive through every disaster. His love will cover you and comfort you through whatever destruction might come.

If you don’t know Him today, why not talk to Him now? Why not reach out your hand to Him and let Him carry you through? He loves you and longs to cover you and shelter your heart today.

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Know When to Seek Refuge from the Storm

Yesterday, my husband and I were out on the lake in a sailboat. It’s not a huge sailboat, just a 22 Catalina, but it is a perfect one for us, as we haven’t ever really sailed before this one. Joey has pretty much taught himself, and he does a pretty good job. I love sailing across the waters with him. It’s our little world of solitude from the mundane and the chaos this life can sometimes bring.

It had been an absolute beautiful day. The winds were gently blowing. The waters were smooth and peaceful, and the sky was absolutely breathtaking at sunset. We were definitely “maximizing  our goof off time!” It was so much fun!

Yet, about 15-20 minutes after the sun had set, and the sky was still saying goodbye to that great big amazing ball of fire, a storm front came up without much warning. The sky turned an ugly shade of gray and the wind picked up, threatening to turn gusty at any moment. In the distance, we could see a couple of fronts on top of each other, and the lightening was striking all over. We were pretty sure the worst of the storm was skirting around us; however, the bottom front was arched right above our heads and closing in fast. In a little 22′ sailboat is not exactly where you want to be found as a thunderstorm blows through!

Joey started the motor, had me take the tiller and motor wand in hand as he lowered the sails and battened down the hatches. He worked with incredible speed and skill. I watched in amazement as I kept looking to the skies and praying under my breath that we’d make it back to the dock in time.

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Thankfully, we made it back and docked just in time, walking off the boat, up the ramp, and closing our car doors just as the first raindrops began to fall. As I drove away from the marina and toward the safety of my home, I was reminded of how big our God is. I was reminded how good our God is, and I was reminded of how often He is a shelter from any storm we might encounter. We just have to remember when and where to seek shelter! Had Joey decided he wasn’t going to get out of that storm as quickly as he did, or had he decided to just linger a little while longer, trusting his own abilities a little too much, we could have surely been in some trouble.

Life will always have storms that blow in, and sometimes, with absolutely no warning. You may be right at the verge, but you’ve just got to know when to get out of the storm that’s brewing. You may even be caught in the onset of that storm; however, our God has always provided a refuge and a shelter to which you can run. You’ve just got to make the decision to run early. He will protect you, and He will uphold you regardless of the thunder that rolls and the lightening that may flash.

You can trust Him. 😉

Slippery Slope

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We all get angry. Being angry is an emotion. It is a natural emotion that happens when something goes not as planned. It is a part of human nature. Yet, when it becomes a part of your life, a holding which you will not release, and a habit that you simply expect everyone to accept and tolerate, you have entered the slippery slope of failure and eventual disaster.

Anger can be a natural reaction, just as joy, fear and sadness are natural reactions and emotions with which we all live. We can’t truly shut these off, just as we can’t shut off our own breath, without a part of us dying inside. Yet, we can learn to control our anger. We can learn to compress it into submission, and we can choose to embrace joy and life in its place.

Now, let me clarify one thing. There is such a thing as righteous anger, or indignation, and sometimes, you just need to get ill! The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry, and do not sin…” There will be moments in our lives when we must get angry against things that are just wrong, people who are bringing harm, or just plain stupidity that has brought about danger. For instance, if a child has been intentionally harmed by an adult, and you simply stand around proclaiming peace and prosperity, you’re the one who needs to wake up. If there are people dying at the hands of another, by all means, get upset. Take the action needed to stop the injustice. The proclamation of peace in war times is foolish and nonsensical! Let’s use some common sense here. I am not talking about anger against injustice, violence and hatred against the innocent. These things should never be tolerated! However, I am talking about unbridled anger that brings about rage and unnecessary harm.

You see, unbridled anger will eventually lead to death, either in ourselves or in someone else. Uncontrolled anger leads to resentment, bitterness and even rage. When you allow anger to rule your life, you are allowing all of these things to follow, not only within you, but around you. It will infiltrate the lives of those around you to the point they must choose to leave you or confront you.

Unbridled Anger is a slippery slope we all must avoid. Choose life. Speak life. Be life to those you encounter. Let that anger slip away to give room for more joy, more love, more forgiveness and hope. If you need help, ask for it. If you need hope, search for it. If you ask the right people, and you seek the right places, you will find it.

“So the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.'” Genesis 4:6-7

Daily Prompt: Angry