Luke 8:24 – The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided and all was calm
The wind is blowing hard outside today, as it has been with each of the last few storms. It howls and shakes and tempts to pull down the strongest of trees. We also are assaulted by howling winds in our lives. Sometimes that wind comes from a cruel statement, from someone who has no clue how much they’re risking your life falling down, by what they say. Some winds come from your job where you’re told you don’t have the muster to complete your daily work, and out the door you go. But some winds, the harshest winds, come from within yourself: Who am I to think I can beat this storm? Who am I to think I can measure up to this job? Who am I … The list goes on and on. Who you are is a child of the King and he is your protector. He closes his wings around you and says, “Just stay here until the storm passes.” Won’t you let him hold you? He waits to stand with you through the storms you face.
Psalm 30:5 - For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
I watch the clock as I lay awake on my bed. The pain flowing through my body shakes me and says, “I’m not going to let go!” Yet, God speaks to us in our affliction. He knows what we’re going through. Don’t lose heart my friend. Pain may keep you awake through the watches of the night, but what you don’t see is a loving Savior bent down on his knees watching over you. He cries to see you in such pain. He knows what it’s like. He suffered on the cross for us so that we could have someone who will never leave us. Don’t worry about what pain says to you. Pain may be keeping you awake, but God will raise you up in the morning with renewed belief that you’re never alone in your pain.
Isaiah 54:10 - “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
She limped down the hallway keeping her head down for she didn’t want to make eye contact with anyone. How could this have happened to a believer in Jesus? This wasn’t supposed to happen. If only I’d had enough faith, she thought. But she didn’t know at the time that she was judging herself. No one else would be cruel enough to do so in such a deep way. But she pulled her cloak of shame tighter around her body as she headed for the door. Do you feel this way when you go out in public? Having a disability, whether it’s one that visible or invisible, can leave the afflicted one with serious doubts about themselves. They also can feel like they’re being punished. But God would not be so cruel as to punish us when we do something wrong. God is always ready to forgive a broken heart. He sees our hearts and knows that we are human. And humans can do things that are wrong. We must see that we live out the consequences for our actions, and that is a form of disciple, but God isn’t waiting to punish us. He is ready to offer us forgiveness and love us back into his arms.
Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
When people talk about an unpleasant situation, some can always find that silver lining. But the rest of us. Well. When something unpleasant is happening, we don’t just see the glass half empty. We can’t even see that a glass exists in the first place! No matter what may be happening, good or bad, the pessimist always looks at the bad and can’t believe that things will ever work out. A lot depends on our past experiences. As children, we learn quickly whether we’re one of the “cool” kids or someone that gets stomped on. The same can happen as an adult. People may mistreat you and reinforce that bad things are always going to happen to you, and rarely will something good. But that’s no way to live. God is all about giving us promises of his faithfulness and goodness. He tells us to keep our thoughts focused on the true and lovely. Granted, it’s not always possible to avoid seeing that everything looks bad. But only for that moment. That’s when we need to turn to God and see that he can be the true and lovely in our lives no matter what else is going on.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.