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Archive for the tag “Jesus calms the storm”

The Forecast

We have been watching and anxiously waiting for this storm for a week. Weather forecasters said it was going to be catastrophic. As I type these words, the wind has just started to stir the trees. The rain hasn’t started yet, but we know it will come. As the newscasters were commenting on the possibilities of the storm, I grew more anxious. When they started forecasting the storm, the path was coming right for me. Do I stay or do I go? But as I began to prepare, I felt more at peace with my decision to stay. The line is still uncertain. God is the only one who knows the path this storm will take. Rain and wind will come – that much is certain – it’s just a matter of how much. It’s a big storm and nowhere in this state will remain dry.

In the past, I have had leaks in the bathroom vent and in the front bedroom windows. My garage door also has areas the water flows through. The rain has to be at the right angles for these places to leak. I think I have fixed each place, but with the forecasted rain I’ll see how well the fix holds. I have prepared the best I could. I searched out bottled water, batteries and gasoline for the car. I happened to be at the right place at the right time to get those items I needed without too much waiting. Timing is everything, right? And the praying is nonstop. I have wanted to see God’s power again – I asked for it in last week’s blog posting. Do it again – that’s what I wrote. But a hurricane is not what I had in mind.

I asked God to send the storm to the middle of the ocean. God has allowed this storm to move closer. I asked God to calm the winds. This morning the hurricane is now a Category 2; down from a Cat 4. Thank you Lord! I have asked for God’s protection during this storm. He’s done that before. We had a tornado to rip through my neighborhood seven and half years ago. It was like God’s hand was placed over my house. I had very little damage where the rest of the neighborhood homes had some significant damage. Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say my prayers were better than my neighbors. I’m just saying God protected me in the storm. This is His house and if He wants to destroy it, then so be it.

There were other times when hurricanes have blown through my state. Every time, I have been outside of its devastating effects. When Fran blew through my city a little over twenty years ago, I was living elsewhere. Hugo had an impact on Charlotte a year before I moved to that city. Then there was Floyd and Matthew again hitting in places where I was not located. God has watched over me – not because of my goodness, but because of His. It has nothing to do with me. It’s just timing is everything.

I look to Him when I get anxious and wait for His timing. I never move until He tells me to go. Some say I need to just move and God will go with me. But I believe God’s ways are best. If He wants me somewhere specific, then I know He will get me there at just the right time. It’s not because of who I am, but because of whose I am. God has told us in Scripture – He will never leave us or forsake us – and I believe His Word. I believe Jesus can calm the storm – He’s done it before and I believe He can do it again. I don’t doubt that He can calm a storm; but it’s a matter of if He will.

As the tornado blew through the neighborhood, I was crotched in my closet praying on my knees to keep me safe. And He did. When I got up, my knees were shaky. I looked out my windows and saw trees down, but not a one on my house. God is infinitely powerful and deeply personal. I believe it. I have witnessed His hand of protection. And I believe He will do it again. But if He does not, His ways are best and I trust Him with everything. I am at peace.

My knees may shake when the wind drives the rain into my vulnerable places, but God is always with me. I can always lean upon Him – not because of who I am, but because of whose I am. You can lean upon Him too. He is infinitely powerful and deeply personal. Believe it and watch Him at work through your storm too. He is forecasted to be for us and not against us. That’s the path we can count on!

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s get in a boat and go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set sail. Soon Jesus fell asleep. The wind rose, and the fierce wind became a violent squall that threatened to swamp their boat. So the disciples woke Jesus up and said, “Master, Master, we’re sinking! Don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

With great authority Jesus rebuked the howling wind and surging waves, and instantly they stopped and became as smooth as glass. Then Jesus said to them, “Why are you fearful? Have you lost your faith in me?”

Shocked and shaken, they said with amazement to one another, “Who is this man who has authority over winds and waves that they obey him?” Luke 8:23-25 (TPT)

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Storm Alert

All week I have heard about this approaching storm called Matthew. Most of the spaghetti models were keeping it well out to sea. However, information changed Tuesday afternoon. I was on the rowing machine at the gym when I looked up to the television and noticed most of those spaghetti models had the storm tracking right between North and South Carolina.

I have lived in North Carolina all my life. North Carolina has had its share of dangerous storms that either make landfall or just impact the outer banks. Somehow I have managed to miss every hurricane that has come ashore. Hurricane Floyd hit in 1999 with a glancing blow to the coast but circled back to cause major flooding in the eastern portion of North Carolina. Fran was another one that devastated North Carolina in 1996. And Hugo came ashore in South Carolina but traveled right up through the central part of my state.

Every time hurricanes came through, I had either just moved out of that area or moved into the area after the storm had passed. I must say when I saw the forecast for later this week, I grew a bit concerned; will I have to ride this one out? While I was watching the television as I was rowing along, I saw this storm’s path being directed by two different weather patterns that puts the storm at a direct aim on the border. There’s a low dropping from the northwest to arrive around Friday and a high that will be circulating in the Atlantic Ocean that will cause a funnel to develop right toward the border of our two great states. The forecast could change at any time. Only God knows the track it will take.

On Monday morning, I read in Matthew 8 about Jesus calming the storm with His spoken word. The disciples were amazed that even the wind and waves obeyed Him (8:27). The storm came upon them unexpectedly. Most of these men were fishermen who had weathered many a storm. But this time, Jesus was in the boat. The waves were sweeping over the boat. They were afraid of drowning. I am not a swimmer, so I would be terrified too. When they woke Jesus, He questioned their faith. What? Why their faith?

I believe the storms in our lives are about our faith. There is a purpose to the storms we face. Storms help us grow closer to Jesus. Those are the times we reach out to Him and ask for a calming presence to fill us so that we can ride it out. He will see us to the other side of it. We are not meant to stay in the storm – we are meant to go through it with Jesus.

James MacDonald’s message from this past weekend was about the prayer of faith. He said “faith is believing in the Word of God and acting upon it, no matter how I feel, because God promises a good result.” His message was from Mark 5:21-43 – one of my favorite passages. Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter and a woman with a bleeding problem. Both of these healing accounts were brought to Jesus from a kneeling position. Jairus fell at His feet and pleaded earnestly with Him (5:22-23). Jesus noticed healing power had left Him; He searched for the one who had been healed. The woman fell at his feet trembling with fear and told Him the whole truth (5:33).

I believe this is significant to us when we are in those storms in life. We can look to the One who calms the storms with just a spoken word. He may not take us out of the storm but will see us through it. We might not get an immediate healing or our loved one released from death. But we can always take it up with Jesus from a humble position knowing He has the answer we seek. Pastor James commented that “Delay is not a denial – we pray God’s will, God’s way, in God’s time.” His main point was this: “Faith that acts, asks, and endures – get’s answered.” Maybe our faith is like the disciples’ faith in that boat – it’s a little small; take it to Him and don’t be afraid, just believe. Ignore the facts; face the truth; Jesus is our answer.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. Hebrews 12:2-3 (NLT)

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