Fight, Flight or Freeze?

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What do you do when the storms of life come? We all have a natural instinct to fight or flight, and some just simply freeze, regardless, the size of said storm. Each of these reactions can cause us to find victory or defeat, depending upon the needed reaction for the given moment.

The difference between your success and failure through the storms of life will be the awareness you have and the wisdom you use to determine the reaction to what comes. Sometimes, you must stand and fight that demon coming against you, because your victory comes through the conquering of that bully that’s trying to suck the very life out of you. Sometimes, you better duck and move, because dodging the lighting bolt and getting out of the way will be your safety and survival. Still other times, staying out right where you are will give the needed time for your army of support to come to flank you on either side, and through that needed help of family and friends, your faith and your God, the battle is won!

So, no matter what your natural inclination is when the storms come, the most important thing is to use wisdom to know the best reaction to act upon. Sometimes, your very survival will be dependent upon the wisdom of that one moment.

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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.

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. 😉

Be the Storm

Sometimes, when you’ve done all to stand, you’ve just got to retain your ground and fight once more. Dig in and pay the retribution upon the enemy’s head. Don’t give up now. Don’t give in. You’ve come too far to quit! 

Turn the tables on him. Be the whirlwind. Become the storm he thinks he has brought into your life. Bow up and don’t turn back until he is defeated!

Trust me. He won’t give up till he thinks he has won…or knows you have instead. So, pick up that sword of the Spirit and that shield of Faith one more time. Square your shoulders and hold your head up high. Fight like there’s no tomorrow. 

You can do this thing! Now, WIN!


“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13


Debris Clean-up

Terrible storms and natural disasters have wreaked havoc across our nation the past few months. Hurricanes, tornados, floods and even earthquakes. When storms like this hit land, there are incredible clean up projects that have to be set in place to get things back to normal. If the debris is left, it can cause delays, confusion, more damage and even injuries or death. Trees have to be cleared, power lines have to be restored, roads repaired, homes and bridges rebuilt. The restoration process can take a while, but it must be done if the people desire to live again. 

Storms in our lives will bring lots of debris, too. Anger, bitterness, rage, fear, pain, brokenness. Just as the disaster crews have to clean up the debris from physical storms, we must clean up the debris in our own hearts and minds from crisis that happen in our lives. 

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Maybe it’s a new mindset we need. Maybe it’s forgiveness we have to give. Maybe it’s self control we have to learn. Maybe it’s even time we have to wait for a wound to heal. If the debris isn’t cleared, it can often cause even more damage, not only to ourselves but, eventually, to all those around us. Whatever the debris is, if we want to be whole, and we want to live again, we must clean it out. 

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” Psalm 52:10-12

The great advantage we have is we don’t have to do this alone! Jesus is always waiting for us to call on His name. He is right there longing to soothe our weary soul and mend our broken heart. All we have to do is call on His name. All we have to do is lean on Him, and He will pick us up and carry us through! He will help us clear the debris and learn to live whole again. 

The neat thing that also happens when this is done, we can share our story with others, and their lives will be impacted and changed as well! “Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.” Psalm 52:13 When this happens, not only are our lives cleaned up and changed, but those with whom we’ve shared our story are changed. Then, they begin to share, it starts a domino effect on the world around us! How exciting would it be to see many come to know Him because of our simple clean up?!

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:3-4


Withstand the Storm

 

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The palm tree is very agile and remains stable through the most torrential storms. The roots go deep and wide and even grow stronger when storms come. The trees can brace against the 120 mph force winds of a hurricane, and they can double over in height to withstand the effects of tsunamis and tropical cyclones.

 

When storms come into our lives, it can be challenging to remain grounded through the downpours and gales. It can be almost unbearable at times. When the waters rise above our heads and the weight of the waves come crashing all around us, we can find ourselves bending and swaying to the rhythms of grace, or we can find ourselves breaking and uprooting from the stress and strain.

The key to this survival is not found in worldly possessions. It cannot be found in strong friendship and a healthy family life. It can’t even be found in self confidence, strong will or a determination to live through the crisis. All these things are good things, and they are definitely an added bonus, but none of these things will sustain us through the most difficult moments of our life.

Only if the root of our soul is anchored in Christ, will we stand. He is the only Rock we can cling to that will not break us but will strengthen and sustain us.

Commit to Him today before the storms begin, and you will find He is faithful to see you through that storm! We cannot wait until the winds begin to blow to make sure our faith is secure. When we are grounded in Christ, we will obtain the grace to withstand the storm. We must remain committed to His Word and keep our trust in Him, and we will survive whatever may come. If you find you are in the midst of a storm today, commit to Him even so. You will be amazed how He can carry you through!

 

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Just Hold On

 

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Sometimes, the world feels like it comes crashing in like a tidal wave. You feel as if you’re drowning under the weight of all that is around you. You feel like you must move, but it seems as if your feet are stuck in the muck and mire of circumstances. 

You cry out to those around you, because after all, you’ve learned not to swim this channel alone; yet, even through the conversations, the prayers and the support, you feel as if you’re barely treading water. It’s as if one false move will cause your foot to slip, and you will begin gasping for breath again, bobbing up and down in the water, struggling to make any headway.

In that moment, He is still there. He has always been there, and He always will be. He made a promise, and He cannot break His promises, because He is beholden to every single one. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Even when you can’t feel Him. Even when you feel as if He is no where to be found and your prayers are hitting the brass ceiling above. He is there. He was always there, and He forever will be.

Hold on, child. Do not waver. Do not turn away. Hold on with all your might. Hold on with every. single. breath. For you will breathe again. You will come through this season. You will see the beautiful rays of light again. It may feel like an eternity, but you will not be shaken when you hold onto His eternal hand.

… Honestly, I don’t know how He does it, and when you’re in the middle of the storm, it can really feel like a cheap cliché that Christians throw out to sound spiritual. However, I can speak from strong conviction and from personal experience. He IS a God who NEVER fails. He is faithful and true. I don’t know how people live without His strength in their lives. I have found peace and hope in Him that I could never find on my own. I have found a love that sustains through it all.

He will not fail you. He will not turn away. He loves you. He promises to deliver, and He promises to return again to take you home. Just hold on.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b

“You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its farthest regions, And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:9-10

 

 

My Heart Says

I step out on faith, and I feel the whirlwind.

The gusts attempt to break my tired feet.

My anger tempts me to turn and not to bend,

But my heart says not to give in to the defeat.

I walk on not knowing where this will go;

This storm rages all around my weary head.

My sin tempts me to rebel so You will not know,

But my heart says to remember what You have said.

I run into Your loving arms, still fearing all Your wrath;

The rains are pouring down now on top of me.

My fears tempt me to put on this shiny mask,

But my heart says to uncover and allow You to see.

I stand in the great shadow of Your grace;

These clouds are cleansing from within me now.

My heart tempts me to hide my prideful face,

But my heart says to You only will I bow.

Penned – MG – 8/1/99

There is HOPE

Cancer, or any terminal illness for that matter, can be so mind boggling…The full impact that it has on someone’s life can be such a hard concept to really get your mind around. The ‘C word’ is feared by so many…hated by more…and yet dealt with by more than we can calculate. It hits some suddenly and fiercely, never relenting until the last breath is breathed. To others, it creeps up slowly and is gone almost before the battle has fully begun…and still others wait hesitantly as it goes into remission for an unknown season of time. Many fight this battle quietly and soberly, others fight valiantly and passionately, seeking a cure; still others may let go before there is a chance for victory. No matter how the battle is finished, everyone is impacted by the journey. Often times, it is one of uncertainty and apprehension; however, it does not have to be one absent of HOPE.

There is a God who loves you, and He is a God who cares for you; He sees you, and He knows the path you take. The Bible says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, ” and will bring you back from captivity…” (Jer. 29:11-14) In the midst of the storm, the journey of this life may seem tiresome, and you may wonder why God has made this plan for your life; but rest assured, He has not forsaken you, and He has not forgotten about your trials! He has made a way for you, and His ways are for your good and not your harm! He is a good God, and He loves you SO much! He will carry you through every fire, every flood, every turbulent storm that enters your life. Just rest in His sufficient grace today. Rest in His loving embrace. Take pleasure in knowing that your life is in His hands, and He is working all things out for your personal good: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom.8:28) You can make it…you will make it! With God on your side, who can be against you? NO ONE!


“The Lord bless you, and keep you:
The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26The mountaintop may seem too far to travel, but with God, He will make a way...In the end, the journey will be well worth it!

The mountaintop may seem too far to travel, but with God, He will make a way

…In the end, the journey will be well worth it!