Weathering Storms

Storms usually come when we don’t expect them. In 2017, the United States experienced three major storms that brought massive rain, flooding, and devastation to Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Flooded streets left people stranded in their homes and many had to be rescued by boat. Basic amenities like power and water were off. About 200 thousand homes were damaged in Texas alone.

Storm Rescue

Have you experienced a personal storm that left you in despair and hopelessness?

Like the storms from the hurricane, the personal storms of life can have the same devastating effects on us. I have weathered many storms in my life. At the Women’s Mega Conference in April, I shared about “Personal Storms and How to Uncover Hidden Treasures in the Ruins”. Click below to watch the message.

 

 

What storms are you facing?

Perhaps your storm is an abusive marriage, childhood trauma, a child on drugs, a loved one in jail, homelessness, health issues or divorce. Life’s storms attack us at the core of who we are and can leave us wounded, hopeless and vulnerable.
No matter what storm it is, there is hope. You can discover hidden treasures in your personal storm if you will trust Jesus to help you. Jesus will go out of his way to meet you in your storm. He wants to heal and restore you. I know this from experience. He will help you uncover hidden treasures of God’s peace, forgiveness, healing, and love as well as restored relationships, freedom from shame, fear and anxiety.

Call to Action

If you desire to uncover the hidden treasures in your storm, here are three things you can do to weather your storm well.

Be with Jesus – Sit at his feet
1) Do you know Jesus? Do you know him as a friend? He desires to have a relationship with you. He is a rescuer. He desires to rescue you from your storm. If you don’t know him, ask him to come into your heart, accept him as Lord.

Be with Others – Don’t isolate yourself
2) Get into a community of believers where you can receive support, encouragement, and prayers.

Be in the Word – This is where you find true treasures and God’s peace.
3) Get into God’s word daily. Reading God’s word will help you uncover those hidden treasures and overcome. Many of you have smartphones. You can download the Bible App which has many free plans that will help you grow in your relationship with God daily.

Hidden treasures

Can you imagine what your life could be like if you took these actions? We all have storms and if you are not experiencing one right now, just wait. It will come but you do not have to allow the storm to knock you down and you do not have to weather it alone. Jesus will go out of his way to meet you in your storm.

A Call to Courageous Love

 

The options were not so great. Violence and oppression forced a young man to think outside of the box. Given his age and agility, it made sense for him to flee without looking back. However, this young man chose courageous love.

You see, his aged parents could barely walk and would not survive the violence. He chose to carry them in two baskets slung over his shoulders. With both parents secure on his shoulders, he walked barefoot for seven days from his village in Myanmar to cross the Bangladesh border. Read the full story here.

Love motivated this young man to think outside the box and do whatever was necessary to bring his parents to safety. Love motivates us to look beyond ourselves and show care and compassion for others.

How do I love and care for others well?

How do you love and care for others well?

 

A similar story of bold and courageous love is recorded in Luke 5:18-25. There was a paralytic man who was in need of healing. One day, his friends decided to take the paralytic man to meet Jesus.  The friends carried the man on his bed, but as they approached Jesus, there was a huge crowd that prevented them from bringing the man close to Jesus.

Like the young man from Myanmar, the paralytic man’s friends decided to be bold and creative. Their great love for him compelled them to think outside the box and be courageous.

They decided to carry the man to the rooftop and let him down into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. They believed that Jesus was the answer to their friend’s paralysis and could heal him.

Upon seeing the faith of the friends, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” After some squabbles with the Pharisees, Jesus said to the man, get up, pick up your stretcher and go home. Immediately, the man got up and went home, glorifying God.

The paralytic man received healing because his friends loved him well and believed Jesus could heal him. Their intercession for him was an act of courageous love.

How well do we love others? What extent are we willing to go to bring them to Jesus?

Before you resign and throw your hands in the air, hear me out. Maybe we cannot physically bring others to Jesus through the door like the paralytic man. Are we willing to consider alternatives, like going up on the roof?

Courageous love compels us to think outside of the box. One of the ways we can love others courageously is by interceding on their behalf through prayer. Intercessory prayer is like going up on the rooftop and bringing others directly in front of Jesus through prayer. An intercessory prayer is an act of love, compassion, and faith. It is bringing others to the Lord spiritually.

Intercessory prayer shows care as we identify with people and their need for salvation. We show them God’s love by embracing them and their joys, fears, successes, and failures.  We bring them to Jesus just like the friends of the paralytic man.

 

Who needs your courageous love today?

 

A prayer based on Psalm 43:3

O Lord, send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead my loved one;
Let them bring him to Your holy hill
And to Your dwelling places. In Jesus Name, Amen

 

Photo Courtesy of Asia Pacific

Stop Grumbling, Start Trusting

 

The other day I found myself asking, how long Lord, how long?

I felt overwhelmed.

It didn’t help that I was confined to the bed with flu. My head hurt and body ached like I had been run over by an eighteen wheeler. I felt miserable. Laying there, I grumbled about everything, thinking I don’t have time to be sick! Meanwhile, my mind replayed my to-do list for the 100th time. That’s when I asked, how long Lord, how long?

The week was not going as I expected, so I felt discouraged. Since I had taken this emotional detour, all kinds of thoughts flooded my mind. I felt justified to whine.

Can you relate? Perhaps, like me, you have been waiting on God for a long time and asking the same question, how long Lord? more “Stop Grumbling, Start Trusting”