Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Storms of Life

The other day I was speaking with a friend of mine who happened to share with me that just about everyone she’s talking with lately appears to be going through something really difficult in life. What I found particularly interesting was how she shared this information with me. She delivered it as if she was surprised. I'm no longer surprised by storms. Not mine. Not yours, not anybody’s. Storms are a part of life whether we like them or not. And trust me; I don’t like them anymore than you do. But I do believe we delude ourselves when we try to convince ourselves that we’ll reach a day when we finally meet our "storm quota" and shout to the world in the affirmative that we're finally done with storms. Nobody gets through life without trials or storms. Unfortunately, no one is exempt. Storms are just a part of life and they’re often filled with hardship, suffering and or loss. Life has many seasons. Some are great and some are hard. They’re filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, joy and deep sorrows. But it’s when life feels hard that we must exercise our faith muscles and believe that in spite of how we feel things will get better and that we will feel strong again. We have to believe in that. In fact, we must believe in that if we’re going to experience a better tomorrow.

Storms often make us want to scream: UNCLE! (Which means enough!) I know this because I’ve been there, done that and have screamed "uncle" many a times my friend. All too often, the storms of life leave us feeling discouraged. They make us want to quit and give up and cause us to feel like we don't have the strength to keep going. But don't be deceived my friend. That's just a feeling, not a fact. You're much stronger than you realize. I can't deny that storms have a way of making us feel weak but I promise you that if you continue to press forward, it’s simply a matter of time before you realize how strong you really are. What I know for sure is that God equips each and every one of us with everything we need to endure our trials. My advice to you is to draw upon past experiences, past storms and recall how you survived past trials and over came them. The Bible says that if we draw close to God, God will draw close to us. It also says that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness which means that His strength is made perfect within you if you invite Him into the process. When we can’t, God can and will so draw near to Him when you need strength for your journey. And allow Him to hold your hand instead of holding on to His. His grip is far bigger and far greater than ours. If you're experiencing a storm in your life right now, stay encouraged my friend because all storms come to an end. They don’t last forever. I know personally how awful life feels when you're in the thick of one. You feel depleted, sad and frustrated. But remind yourself that you're stronger than you feel. You really are. Your storm is never bigger than God. Never. Nothing is impossible for God and with God. With God, there's always hope for the helpless and rest for the weary. There is also grace and forgiveness so call out to God. He's there to hear you and He's there to answer you. And trust His timing for answers. His time-table is not our time-table. His answers and His blessings always arrive on time. And whatever you do, don't allow yourself to get stuck in your storm. You gotta keep praying, you gotta keep believing and you gotta keep moving because if you don't, you'll miss your possibilities for tomorrow. Better and brighter days are still part of your future. You have to believe in that and hold on to that. 

Here’s what I’m learning about humanity: We all want to be bright. But sometimes we have to be broken before we can be bright. And sometimes we have to be broken before we become better, greater, wiser. So if you've been broken through the process of your storm, don't be discouraged. It happens. It happens to the best of us. What I know for sure is that God creates beauty from ashes every day. Allow me to encourage you to never quit and to keep going. Keep going when life feels hard and heavy because life is still so beautiful and filled with wonder. And pain always has purpose. And God wants each and every one of us to be bright so we can shine on.

Stay encouraged always. May God's light shine brightly within you and around you all the days of your life. 

Shine on my friend ...

Wishing you peace and wholeness today and always,


The Prayer of Jabez: "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.  ~ 1 Chronicles 4:10

Behold I make all things new. ~ Revelations 21:5

Today's Prayer:

Dear Father God,

Thank you for Your presence whether we feel You or not.  Be our wisdom and be our strength today and every day. Father I pray that You would bless each and every person who is reading this right now. Bless them with peace and bless them with joy. Release revelation in them. If they're going through difficulty, I pray that hope will emerge in them, hope that could only be found in You. I pray that You would replace any pain and any confusion with Your promises. Remind them that the Bible is filled with Your promises. Remind them that Your love is large and vast and constant. And remind them that You are the God of second chances. And if they have drifted away from You, help them remember that You haven't gone anywhere and that You allow u-turns. Allow them so see a vision of You with out stretched arms waiting to embrace them. Bless them in their coming and bless them in their going. Comfort them during their darkest hours. And lastly, remind them that everything good they experience is from You because it all started with You. We thank You for that. Thank You for Your goodness and thank You for Your grace. We don't deserve it but we receive it and we accept it.  

I pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.