Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Surviving relentless waves in a dollar store raft

Psalm 18:16-19 (MSG) But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me. He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!
Psalm 18 is a song of victory David sang to the Lord when the Lord saved him from King Saul and his other enemies. While reading through these verses in the Message paraphrases I could certainly relate to a few of the words David used to describe what God had him through. Did you notice the same words I did?  

Ocean, Chaos, Void and Drowning
Let’s just face it, sometimes the "stuff" of life gets overwhelming. Situations or events can seem like you are drowning in an ocean of chaos and you can't find your way out of the dark void surrounding you. 

Anyone relating yet?

There have been times in my life when I have felt like a dollar-store raft being tossed out of control by the relentless waves of a raging sea during a category five hurricane. While circumstances around me rage, I convince myself the storm will eventually chew me up and spit me out. 

But that's not the truth of God's word is it?  NOPE! It's a lie of the enemy. 

the truth is God rescues me; just like He rescued David from his enemies, and just like He will rescue you from whatever storm you're facing.
At this moment are there any “life-storms” threatening to chew you up? Are you so consumed by them that it’s nearly impossible for you to see past them? There is ONLY ONE way to find hope, healing and protection from the battering sea...His name is Jesus! 

Yes… the “calmer of the storm” (Matthew 8: 23 - 27) wants to help us navigate through the treacherous waters we find ourselves in at times. We never have to question or be surprised by that truth. Jesus cares so deeply for us. If Jesus had a cell phone or a computer monitor, our face would be His background image. He cherishes us. He delights in us. Jesus doesn’t want us to be consumed and torn apart by the storms of life. He wants to give us the abundant life He promises in John 10:10 (MSG) “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
Did you know that our life-storms can bring honor and glory to God? It’s true by the way we choose to handle them. How do you react when you're in an "uncontrollable" life-storm? Do you tend to cling to the sides of your little dollar store raft OR do you raise your hands in the midst of the fury and cry out to the ONLY God who can provide calmness and peace? 

I know I've learned something through each storm in my life and as a result my faith is increased and my relationship with Christ deepened. Though the waves may crash around me I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I will never facing their fury alone. Christ is using His word and the prayer covering of my spiritual family to encourage me to hang on and trust even if I can't see calm waters ahead.  
Whether you're facing a "storm" right now or your life waters are calm, know that you are never alone. When storms rage, God will NEVER leave you nor forsaken you (Deut. 31:6,8; Joshua 1:5)
Call out to Jesus and HE WILL keep you from falling.
“Storm calming" stories Matthew 14:22 – 32, Matthew 8: 24 - 26

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