Thursday, October 31, 2013

Redeem YOUR Storm!!!

I had the impression that those in their forties had it all together.  Those I saw when I was younger seemed so calm and calculated about life.  Now that I am in my forties myself, I have come to realize that this is SO far from the truth.  I am not at ALL together!  My life is messy.  My house is messy.  My intended schedule for the day is always messed up.  My attitude is not always the best.  My hair isn’t always in place… in fact MOST days it rebels against me with frizziness.  My life is not a pretty picture.

Regardless of what my life looks like on the outside, on the inside I am on a daily pursuit to become more like Jesus.  He is molding me and shaping me to become a better reflection of Him.  Some days the reflection is clear and you can see Him while other days the picture is blurry.  But I keep pressing forward in my pursuit to become “Jesus with skin on” for the world to see.

Recently I was sharing with a group of people about the storms of life and God spoke to me in a fresh way on the subject.  I shared how “storms” are those times in our lives where we face seemingly impossible or overwhelming circumstances.  Several things come to mind to note when thinking about storms.  Storms are unavoidable, unpredictable, and unforgettable.

Storms are unavoidable…  They come whether we want them to or not.  Do you know anywhere in the world where there are NO storms?  I don’t.  We can’t avoid them!  All the rain gear we can buy can’t keep the storms from coming!  Life’s storms are the same way.  They are unavoidable… they happen!

John 16:33 says…
“… In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

What do these life storms look like?  Financial hardship, chronic illness, miscarriage, addiction, unfaithfulness of a spouse, job loss, divorce, a rebellious child, family problems, the loss of a loved one, the list could go on…

When the storms of life hit us we can OVERCOME or BE OVERCOME… we can face them in FEAR or with FAITH.  The choice is up to us.  We can’t begin to dig a storm shelter in the middle of a tornado that is about to hit!  We have to prepare ahead of time for storms…   When it comes to the storms of life, we need to prepare NOW for what may be ahead so we can face them with faith.

Storms are unpredictable… They come when we least expect it and aren’t ready for them.  The sirens start going off as dinner is on the stove and where are those candles and flashlights?  Do we have batteries?  Uh, oh… we may be sitting in the dark for awhile.  Storms catch us off guard.  Life’s storms are the same way.  It is in these moments where we really need our friends and family to pray with us and for us.

Unpredictable storms can leave us shocked and unaware of HOW to respond.  Unexpected tragedies, natural disasters, car accidents, chronic illnesses that creep up quickly, and the like can surprise us and paralyze our ability to move forward.  We would hope when life catches us off guard that our first reaction would be to respond in faith, but fear is right there waiting to overtake our hearts. 

Don’t ever be afraid to ask people to lift you up in prayer when you feel your faith is WEAK.  That is what the family of God is all about.  We need to be investing spiritually for the storms ahead.  We have NO idea what will hit next so we need to be growing our faith stronger each day.  Pray, read, find a church to help you grow in your faith and go, and surround yourself with people who love God and YOU!

“Often in trials and storms we focus on the impossibility 
of our circumstances instead of the GREATNESS of our God.”

Storms are unforgettable…  Those who have lived through a tornado, hurricane, or massive storm will NEVER forget it!  It is life-changing!  The pictures stay with you.  The stories are forever etched in your mind.  For me facing life’s storms changed ME!  Trivial things didn’t matter as much.  I became more thankful for the little things and my priorities changed drastically. 

Sometimes we allow the storms we face in life to define us.  God’s desire is to help us reflect Him better as we face each storm in faith trusting Him.  

"It is in the messy moments of life that people are drawn to 
Christ in us the most."  

I decided after facing my seemingly insurmountable storm of being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that I WOULD NOT allow my storms to be wasted time.  I want to redeem each storm and use them as a tool to reach others. 

Whatever I face… I want God to heal it, fix it, or change whatever necessary to get me where I need to be quickly.  My desire is to turn around and use that storm to inspire others for God.  My husband said recently on this subject… “Turn that terrible time into a terrific testimony.”  God wants to redeem your storms!  Cash them in to Him and in return He will give you an inspiring story to share with others of how in faith you made it through and they can too.

Storms will come… they are unavoidable. Some will be unpredictable and life altering, but if you prepare now by growing strong roots of faith you will make it through.  Many storms are unforgettable.  Those moments where you meet the storm head on in fear, enlist friends to pray, and God shows up increasing your faith are unforgettable!  Give each storm to God.  He can turn the bad around for good to inspire others to believe God in faith for THEIR storms.  Let God be your “storm shelter” as you take on the winds, rain, and all of the elements this life may throw at you.  He will see you through!

Living to leave a legacy,

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