From the Storm and Rain

In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel.  Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; He will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.

—Isaiah 4:2-6

I Would Hurry

As I drove away from work, I had only been in my car perhaps three minutes when the dark gray clouds above me sent a great flash of lightning and the sound of thunder so great and consuming that I instinctively crouched down in the driver’s seat, clinging to the steering wheel. 

It was like a heralding trumpet, announcing the great storm to come….

Driving only a small distance on the highway, the torrential rain began. 

It was difficult to see the lane markings as I crept along at a slow speed with my tires throwing up waves of water from the pavement beneath me.

Once, a vehicle  passed by and the deluge of water from their tires arriving on my windshield stole all vision of the road from me. 

As I made my way down the six lane highway, the radio announcer related weather warnings completely accurate to my situation. 

The thought occurred to me that for so people, everyday life is a struggle, like trying to drive through a storm. 

People who do not know Jesus have an obscured view of life. 

As troubling situations arise, the road ahead is difficult to navigate alone. 

It’s hard to navigate through each day when they’re experiencing the storms without God’s guidance and direction. 

The psalmist said, “I would hurry to find shelter from the raging wind and storm.”

(Psalm 55:8)

That man you see, that woman you see—that grandmother or grandfather–that child—that person who doesn’t know Jesus as their Savior—they are stuck in a storm. 

They want to hurry and find a way out, but they don’t know how to begin. 

We can help. 

Those of us who know Jesus can start by talking to them. 

Talking to them about God and His Son, Jesus. 

They don’t have to remain on a stormy, six lane highway with their hands gripping the steering wheel. 

It can all change—the moment they believe. 

Who can you talk to today that’s struggling in the storm?

I Would Fly

Oh, for wings like a dove, to fly away and rest!  I would fly to the far-off deserts and stay there.  I would flee to some refuge from all this storm.

—Psalm 55:6-8

 

God is our refuge.

He protects us from the storm of sin.

He gives us new life and a new beginning.

 

Iwould

Never Walk in Darkness

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

I almost didn’t go to the meeting.

The sky was turning dark gray and I was hesitant to possibly be driving in a storm.

At the last minute, I decided to go.

On the way back home when the meeting had ended, it was still raining and lightning was splitting the sky above me.

As I drove, I began to notice that there was a break in the clouds just where the sun was setting.

For about twenty minutes, I watched as magnificent colors of light cascaded across the sky in front of me.

Pulling my car to the side of the road, I took some photographs as the scene unfolded.

As I was continuing my journey home, blazing forks of lightning ripped through the clouds over my car.

There was not a time, however, that I could not see the light piercing through the opening in the atmosphere.

John 8:12 reads,

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Even though we may feel that we are surrounded by darkness and sin in the world, we do not have to walk in darkness ourselves.

We can follow Jesus, who is the light of the world, keeping our eyes on Him.

*

Click image to enlarge.

light of life

Raging Wind

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

Do you ever just feel small?

While eating dinner out this evening, I received a weather alert on my phone.

A severe thunderstorm was in the vicinity and lightning, high winds and hail could be expected.

After I left the restaurant and a few miles down the road, I noticed the sky above a parking lot.

The clouds were moving in, along with the rain.

A deep orange haze was beginning to tint the darkening sky.

I wasn’t afraid, even though the clouds seemed so large and threatening above me.

I knew I had shelter and that I would be home soon.

If I hadn’t had shelter, I would certainly have been wishing for it.

In the Bible, King David wrote about the pain he felt when a friend had turned against him:

I said, “If only I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and find rest.
How far away I would flee;
I would stay in the wilderness.Selah

I would hurry to my shelter
from the raging wind and the storm.”

—Psalm 55:6-8

We can see other kinds of storms in our lives.

Not the wind and rain storms, but storms of illness or broken relationships or perhaps a job loss.

Sometimes life can seem to loom above us like threatening clouds.

The only true shelter is God.

When we realize how small we truly are in the face of adversity, we must hurry to God.

He will be our protection from the raging wind and storm.

*

Click image to enlarge.

rage final

You Are Worth More

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

It had started raining about a half hour before I was to leave work.

When I had finally gathered all my things—-including a briefcase, purse, and a bottle of water—I headed out to the parking lot.

On the way, I scurried under a covered walkway as far as I could.

Not only was there rain, there was lightning.

Feeling uneasy about walking right out into the rain and flashes of light, I began to pray as I did so.

My prayer was probably something like this:

“Lord, please protect me.”

As I walked on the pavement, I suddenly heard a bird.

I looked up to see a bird singing, very high in a palm tree.

Singing in the midst of the storm.

Singing in the top of a tree.

Some lyrics came to my mind.

“For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

(by Civilla D. Martin)

As I got into my car, the storm continued.

I lowered a window in the car and got out my camera.

With a good zoom shot, I photographed the little bird.

Jesus said, Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

—Matthew 10:29-31

God was comforting me with a singing bird, reminding me that His eye was on me as I walked across the parking lot in the rain and lightning.

His eye is on you, too.

Even when you walk through a storm…..

Click image to enlarge.

afraid

He Calmed the Storm

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53
I could see the storm coming over the beach and out to sea.

The unrelenting power of the wind and rain.

Vast and uncontrollable, it could not be stopped.

The storms in our lives look just like that, don’t they?

Unrelenting.

Powerful.

Vast.

Uncontrollable.

God sees things in a different way than we do.

The storm at the beach was not too big for Him.

The storms in our lives aren’t either.

He has the power to calm the wind and the waves.

 

He calmed the storm to a whisper
    and stilled the waves.

–Psalm 107:29

 

 

storm two

 

 

 

He Comforts Us

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

 

 

 

When I came out of the meeting, the sun was just beginning to set.

Most of the sky was riddled in clouds and it was raining.

Other people were exiting to the outside, as well.

I said something like, “I love it when it rains and the sun is shining!”

Getting into my car, I began to drive as I witnessed a magnificent display of color and beauty as the sun’s rays painted the monochrome clouds in a brilliant array.

Stopping the engine on a street, (no other cars were in sight) I snapped a photo or two.

For at least the next twenty minutes, I watched the various hues emerge in intensity within the moving clouds.

I began to think—

It had been raining.

The sun had been shining through the rain.

For some reason, we associate rain with difficult times and sunshine with happy times.

Thinking along those lines, I was experiencing a visual representation of “happy difficulty.”

How can circumstances bring us happiness and still be difficult and trying at the same time?

Life can get hard.  Really hard.

So much can go wrong.

But, along with the struggles, we can become aware of God’s presence through it all.

His light can begin to blaze through the rain, creating a spectacle of radiance that captures our gaze and draws us away from the storm.

At these moments, we are aware of both our problems and His presence.

2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us,

“He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God.”

God does not leave us alone…

even when it rains.

 

H