Hushed

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

—Psalm 107:29

 

Storms can be big.

Things get torn up.

Ruined.

Blown away.

Flooded.

Waves can be giant.

Overwhelming.

Relentless.

God can make a storm be still.

He can hush any wave.

What storms are you facing today?

God is bigger than the storm.

 

sea were

He Is

A rainbow.

I knew there just had to be one.

My husband had gone into a store and I had chosen to wait in the car for him.

Thunder began to crack and lightning was nearby.

Looking out the front of the car, it was sunny.

Looking out the back window, it was a dark gray.

As it started to rain, I tried to peer behind me to see if a rainbow had formed.

Because of the lightning, I wasn’t going to venture out of the car, however.

When my husband returned, umbrella in hand, we began driving off the parking lot. As we made a turn, I saw it.

A vibrant rainbow!

Trying to photograph a rainbow with my car window down and the rain coming in was a feat for the persistent….

I have since pondered rainbows in a little different way than I have in the past.

We tend to think of troublesome times in our lives as “storms.”

We apply the word “storm” to a great many situations.

A stormy relationship.

A physical challenge.

An onslaught of something bad.

For a rainbow to form in all its dazzling brilliance, there must be rain.

As the dark clouds are depositing each drop to the ground, the light of the sun streaks across the atmosphere, creating a vision of vividly colored transparency.

While the storm is still going on—and even as it has just passed–the light shines into the darkness with a promise.

When we have those troubling times–those challenging situations and heartbreaking events–God’s light is still shining on it all.

If we turn to look, we can trust that somewhere—somewhere—He is forming a rainbow.

 

He is

 

Able to Give

 

As I stood in the backyard of a friend’s house, I admired the calm scene of water as it reflected the cloudy sky and the surrounding trees.

The afternoon visit was a contemplative one.

My friend and her husband had suffered a great loss.

Their infant son—only a few days old—passed away while in the hospital recently.

I am hoping that I will be able to comfort them in the coming weeks and months.

God has comforted me during times of loss, as well.

My husband and I lost a child through miscarriage and another child in an accident.

How can I help my friends?

The Bible says,

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:4

Is there someone you could comfort and encourage today?

 

comforts us

He Knows

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The storm was coming.

An advisory had been issued by the weather service.

Not far from my neighborhood, there is a place where I can look out and see a nearby lake just beyond the trees and houses.

It was the perfect place to watch the dark clouds as they approached.

When the rain finally arrived, I had to enjoy the scene from inside my car.

If I hadn’t had any shelter–such as my car–I wouldn’t have been enjoying the scene at all.

I would’ve been sopping wet, exposed to wind and lightning and the dangers that come with them.

There are times in our lives when we can see the storms coming.

These storms have names of their own.

Illness.

Divorce.

Abandonment.

Grief.

These are just some of the storms that can come our way.

Do we have to just stand there, without any shelter at all when they appear?

Thankfully, we don’t.

God is our shelter.

Nahum 1:7 reads,

The LORD is good,
    a stronghold in the day of trouble;
He knows those who take refuge in Him.

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When troubles come, God will be our stronghold.

He knows who is trusting in Him.

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stronghold

Roar and Foam

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The water crashed against the large rocks over and over.

White foam accompanied each surge.

The ocean reminds me of God’s power.

The vastness of the sea and the unrelenting motion of the waves.

No matter what happens in our lives, as His children, the Lord Almighty is with us.

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God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

—Psalm 46:1-7

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roar and foam

In Times of Trouble

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The dinner party at a friend’s house was going to start in about half an hour.

I knew I had plenty of time to make it, though.

Deciding to take a more scenic route to their community, I drove through rural areas instead of the busy highway.

Not long into the trip, I began to notice the clouds.

A storm was coming and it looked like it could be quite severe.

Being fascinated by the steel blue sky, I looked for a place to stop the car.

I wanted to photograph the heavy blanket of water that was slowly overtaking the horizon.

The dirt road led to a place I had not traveled before.

There was no immediate shelter that I could see nearby.

I wasn’t worried—I had my car to sit in if the storm began to rage around me.

After a few shots, I put my camera down and continued on to the party.

What would have been different if I had been walking alone on that road when the storm hit?

Choosing a tree as an option, I might’ve gotten underneath it.

I wouldn’t have felt safe from the lightning, though—-lightning strikes trees.

I’m really not sure what I would’ve done to ensure my safety in that situation.

There are so many people in the world who realize their lack of shelter.

They can’t think of any real protection if things actually did get bad.

Physical protection.

Emotional protection.

Spiritual protection.

They know they need it, but they don’t know how to have it.

When “storms” happen in their lives, they find themselves alone on a dirt road with a dark, threatening sky and no where to turn.

No shelter.

No car.

No house.

It doesn’t have to be that way, however.

God is a ready and willing refuge for us.

When the skies are dark, do we have the confidence to think, “I’ll be fine. I will just take shelter with God”?

When we look back on the last tempest we encountered, could we say, “I wasn’t worried—I knew I had my Father’s lap to sit in if the storm began to rage around me”?

It is good to remember these words of encouragement in the Old Testament book of Nahum:

The LORD is good,
    a refuge in times of trouble.

–from chapter 1, verse 7

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refuge correct

I Have Overcome

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16.33

What trouble do you have today?

Has this trouble stolen your peace?

Has worry replaced calm?

Jesus has overcome.

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overcome

Get Me Out of Here

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Who will give me wings,” I ask—
    “wings like a dove?”
Get me out of here on dove wings;
    I want some peace and quiet.
I want a walk in the country,
    I want a cabin in the woods.
I’m desperate for a change
    from rage and stormy weather.

—Psalm 55:6-8  The Message

In the Old Testament, King David knew what it was like to be overwhelmed.

To be betrayed.

To have slanderous things said about him.

To have people conspire against him.

After all, he was a king and nations do rise up against nations.

But no matter what happened, David would always return to his faith in God.

When he was troubled, he turned to God for help.

When he was joyous, he turned to God in praise.

In the passage above, David is tired of all the trouble that has mounted itself in front of him.

He longs for peace and an absence of the problems that are weighing heavily on his heart.

Peace and quiet.

A walk in the country.

A cabin in the woods.

Desperate for change…..

Haven’t you felt that way before?

Just wishing to fly away and leave it all behind?

King David trusted God, even in the hard times.

The dangerous times.

The confusing times.

He trusted Him in the good times.

The prosperous times.

The joyful times.

If you are in the midst of trouble today, I urge you to pray and tell God what is on your heart.

If you are in a place of peace and calm today, I urge you to thank God with a joyful voice.

Wherever you find yourself at this moment, God is there.

He is faithful……

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peace