Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On the hills of the tornado and my own Little Flood

As I watched Beth Moore this morning on Life Today, I was overwhelmed with the following scripture that she shared on the hills of the Little Flood I had in my own life and the overwhelming destruction of the tornados in Alabama.

Ps 57:1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.2 I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills [his purpose] for me.

We are blessed when we REALIZE our need for Christ.  We always need Him but when we have trials or become aware of our own sin and short comings we begin to get a REAL glimpse of our need for CHRIST our SAVIOR our LORD.  The trial or sin is NOT a blessing, but the awareness of our need that drives us into the arms of our Lord is!!!!  That is when we receive the love and comfort of GOD!

Trials can bring revival of my soul and my spirit. 

I visited yesterday with folks up in Harvest where I use to live.  I spoke with victims and found stories of hope.  I had one lady tell me that she lost "stuff" (she had lost her HOME)  She said whatever was in her that didn't trust the Lord before, is GONE.  She was praising God.  She was counting her blessing.  She said that there were so many silver linings in this tragedy that she can hardly even see the storm any more.  Can you believe that?  God is real!!!! The stories are such blessings in the midst of such suffering and trials.  The stories of hope, love, trust and renewal.  The overwhelming outpouring of the body of Christ to those in need has been proclaimed OVER AND OVER with everyone I speak to.  Allow this to renew your strength today.  I know it did mine.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wonderfully timely devotion sent from my sweet Mother-in-law

Sinner or saint, we all fall to worry at one time or the other. I Peter 5:7; Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." Well as Christians, that is pretty easy to understand but as humans, it is a little more difficult. The many cares of the world can quickly overwhelm us and make us think we have to do it all ourselves. We read in Mark 4; "The worries of this life come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful." As Christians, haven't we given our lives to Jesus; the One who is over all Heaven and earth? Matthew 11:28-29; "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Psalm 55:22; "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." This sounds so easy, but from an earthly prospective it is hard just to let go of a problem. We all feel we have failed and fallen at some time. But in a Heavenly prospective, in the eyes and hands of God, we may have failed but certainly not fallen from His grace. Romans 8:28; "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Worry can take away our positive thoughts and leave nothing but negative thoughts. We all feel the need to be in control and this makes it hard to turn everything over to God. Well, be in control; just be in control not of the situation, give that to God, but be in control of the negative thoughts. Say, This is God's will and I am God's child! Don't dwell on it, accept it as God's will and a part of His plan for your life. Trust God. It takes humility and that all important ingredient.....Faith.

God can take care of it much better than you or I.

Isaiah 24

The LORD's Devastation of the Earth

1 See, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants--NIV

1 Behold, the Lord makes the earth empty and makes it waste, Distorts its surface And scatters abroad its inhabitants.   NKJV

I was doing an online study with Kay Arthur and chapter 24 of Isaiah was what I was studying the day before the MASSIVE outbreak of tornadoes occurred in Alabama.  I have been struggling with and wrestling with what happened.  Then yesterday, I awoke to my own LITTLE flood.  The kitchen, dining room (both a little over a year old in renovation) and our downstrairs was flooded.  A line to the dishwasher broke loose and we slept right through it.

So in my quiet time with the Lord today, I began to remember a prayer I recently prayed regarding my relationship with Him.  I had felt as if the busyness of life had hindered my time and my walk with Him.  I wanted to be closer to Him.  And THEN the flood.  Yesterday amidst the cleanup and MOUNDS of laundry, I took a break to go see several clients at the fitness center to train, followed by a quick lunch.  While I waited in line at Firehouse Subs, two ladies were being asked in front of me if they wanted to round up their total to give to the tornado victims.  The daughter said you are asking the wrong person.  She just lost her home.  I immediately interrupted the conversation and asked where her house was.  And in common fashion for me, I ended up with a full blown conversation right there in front of the lady waiting patiently to take my order. 

So here is the story I was told.  The lady told me she lived in Anderson Hills.  I told her that I had lived in Harvest (where this subdivision is) back in 95 when the same subdivision was hit.  She said she too had lived thru that tornado as well, but her house was destroyed in that tornado then as well.  My heart was so overwhelmed with compassion yet she was such a blessing to me.  She talked of the goodness of God and said how often does someone GET TO START OVER at 70.   She began to count all the blessing and how good everyone had been in helping her.   I can't tell you how small my LITTLE flood was at that moment.  I asked her for her, her husband, her dog and her daughter's name so I could pray for them regularly.  I saw God's glory in HER amidst great trial.

So as I prayed this morning and as I surveyed the damage of my own home, first I thanked God for my home.  I thank Him that I get to RETHINK my home.  But then as I prayed I began to cry.  I was reminded of my earlier prayer and thought why is it trials draw us closer to Him.  Why is it His glory is so much more obvious in us during the trials.  I began to see the fall in the garden all over again.  It seems in the back drop of the garden we don't full appreciate the wonder, the magnificents of God.  It appears that human nature draws much closer to God in the midst of the storm.  We seem to become more intimate with God and we seem to KNOW Him so much better in the storms of life.

So then, my question is why is it when we pray for our loved ones, we inevidably always pray for the lack of challenge, adversity and pain?  It still doesn't mean that I am praying for hardship on my loved ones, it just means I am pondering this matter and human nature in general.  I want to be close to my Lord in the good times as well as the bad.  I want to fully bask in His glory at all times.  I want to learn to grow in the good times and cling to Him in the absence of adversity.

I sure do LOVE my Lord!