A Storm at Sea
Doesn't that picture look like the news and world sound right now? Stormy. Reeling. Crashing Waves. Flashing lightning. Rolling ship. Everything all topsy turvy and upside down. Nothing seems to be the same anymore. Everything has changed. I have heard these thoughts expressed lately. The people who shared these opinions all seemed concerned, sad, pensive. I felt for them. Quietly, I prayed for them too. Not that long ago I would have felt obligated to share some religious word of some kind with them to help make them feel better, but now? Now I quietly prayed and listened for what God Holy Spirit would lead me to do/say. Why the difference? Well, believe it or not, I am learning.

I am learning that storms look differently for different people. Everyone I know is facing a storm, but not every person is facing the same storm. One person may be wracked in physical pain while another is paralyzed by emotional trauma. Maybe someone's children are asking questions and/or stating opinions that drive parents to their knees in prayer. Still another might be lost in the whirling twirl of keeping young children fed and clothed. Lost jobs, fading health, storm after storm hits only to be followed by another crashing storm then another and another. On and on the storms deal their forceful blows. No matter what the storm, I am learning that there is one constant, not everyone wants an answer or needs me to "make it all better". I don't have to "fix" anything for anyone.

There are a lot of songs and religious platitudes handed out when someone is going through a storm. In the past, I have handed out more than my fair share of them. My desire to help screamed loud and without stopping to listen to God Holy Spirit's still small voice, I rushed in with religious guns blazing. My intention was to blast that nasty storm to smithereens. I was going to make it go away and leave my loved one and/or friend alone. Reality is that few, if any, of those things make weathering the storm easier for a person. In fact, they often make it worse. Only God can keep someone in the storm. Only He can bring a person through, and only He can calm the raging storm within.

Nothing and noone can calm the storm, still it, or make it go away. Only God. Only He. Not me wanting to "make it all better". Not the latest song. Not the newest phrase. Only God. For He is a Father, Savior, and Comforter three in one, only He. How is my friend/loved one going to hear His still small voice above the roar of the storm if I'm in the way spouting off my "helpful, loving" words? Even words of scripture can be wrong if they are spoken at the wrong time. Not every word spoken has been wrong or in the way. God Holy Spirit has often provided what the Bible refers to as a word spoken in due season. It's all of those other times, the ones when the voice of my "Christian duty" hollered, and I got so busy listening to the voice of what I "ought" to do that I forgot to listen to the only One who knows perfectly. It was in those times that religion trumped relationship and everyone lost.

There are lots and lots of storms crashing and even more brewing. Many opportunities to speak a word in due season or rush in spouting off in haste are arising. Please dear Lord, may I continue to learn of You and Your way of doing and being right. May I listen to Your voice, the only voice who knows the beginning from the ending and everything in between. May I listen to You so that Your love will flow from me in a wave of healing, comforting, love. Thank You for teaching me. Thank You for providing me with wisdom. You truly are a generous provider. (James 1:5) Thank You for Your Spirit that comes in like a flood lifting up a standard against the enemy. (Isaiah 59:19)
You are the only anchor that holds. You are also the One who causes us to rise above the storm and soar with wings like eagles. ( Isaiah 40:31) You hide those who abide in You in Your secret place. (Psalm 91) You shelter us. (Joel 3:16) When we walk through the valley You are with us and comfort us. (Psalm 23:4) Thank You for being our truth, for never leaving us, for busying Yourself with our every step,(Psalm 37:23 Amplified) for being our shield.(Genesis 15:1, 2 Samuel 22:31) Thank You over and over and over again. We praise You for You are worthy of all praise. You are great. You are mighty. You are Holy. You are worthy. You are the Great I AM. You are. When nothing else was, You were. Should nothing else be, You will still be. You. Only You. Thank You, God. Thank You for You. With grateful hearts of praise we pray in Jesus' Holy, precious, lovely name, Amen.

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