Monday, June 23, 2014

You Can't, but I Can.

Waves curled like angry fingers ready to grab the boat and shake the fishermen out like toys. The hull slammed the water and water pounded into their vessel. S
trong winds strained their muscles and tattered their hopes. 

Beyond each subsiding wave, a shadow appeared then disappeared. As the figure came closer, they trembled not from cold skin but quaking hearts. A ghost! Why now? Strong, burly fishermen cried out with fear. It was the last straw.

Out from the darkness, Jesus identified himself. "Take courage. It is I. Don 't be afraid" (Matthew 14:27). 

Sometimes, even as we obey Jesus' instructions, we encounter unexpected storms that buffet our boats and strain our fortitude.

At first we may not recognize Him, but Jesus comes to us, assuring us we need not fear. Water's violence is no match for Jesus' presence. The Creator who can calm a storm with a word, or who comes like a man walking on waves, puts all things under his feet. Storms, waves, hunger, fear, worry, evil. Our strained muscles regain new strength to mount waves.

As He encouraged Peter and his friends, so He encourages us. (Put your name here.) Alex, Kathy, Dan, Do not be afraid. Trust Me in this storm. It's havoc will end, but my power will prevail. 

We reach out to the sound of Hope, and take courage. The waves are no match for their Creator. What seems like the end of things, might be the doorway to walking on water.

Read Matthew 14:22-33 aware of Jesus speaking to you. What is He saying?

Are you able to see evidence of the Creator's presence in your storm? How will you respond? 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pray, Aim, and Swat

I was tired and finally in bed. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I knew it would keep me awake. Annoying fly! I prayed it would settle or fly out of the room. 

Then as clear as the buzz, I realized I needed to rouse myself out of my comfortable bed and get the fly swatter. I had to make an effort to find and finish it.

If you've tried to find a loud fly in a full room, you know it can be quiet a challenge, even funny if you are in the right frame of mind. (I wasn't.) But as I washed my hands after removing the dead fly, the light came on.

Prayer is good. Always. But I needed to do my part in getting rid of what was bothering me--even if I was dog tired.

I was to be part of the answer to my prayer. I had to be willing to get out if my comfort zone, fetch the tool to deal with the disturbance, and aim to get rid of it. Aim and swat.

Reminds me of 'Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and act according to his good purpose' (see Philippians 2:12-13).

We work WITH God. Sometimes The Lord says, Do nothing yet. Be still. Sometimes He says, Get up and do what I tell you.

It's a partnership, and He's the one with all the wisdom. So when He shares it, I best do my part.
He might part a Red Sea, or He might position a loud fly so I can deal with it. 

My God is so practical! I fell asleep with a big smile. 


What is your annoying fly? When you pray about it, what comes to mind? (Wait? Act? Specifics?)

What tools can you access to deal with it? (E.G. Is there a scripture promise you can count on?)

How can you co-operate with God's Spirit? 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Love Gift

Landing on the white patio rail, he seemed to scrutinize me as I watched him just beyond the glass door. I expected him to fly away from the discomfort of human closeness but he stayed and walked the rail, twisting his head to assess his surroundings.

My Creator had used doves before to remind me of his presence. Once, from a red bud tree, God's Spirit spoke consolation as I meditated on Scripture. "My eye is on you."

I had been asking for a tangible expression of God's presence. Yes, I know the Word says God loves me and will not leave, but I was weary, unsettled by a long parade of unfamiliar circumstances that demanded hard decisions. So I looked for encouragement, and the Heavenly Dove sent me a turtledove.

I call you my friend. I love you as much as my Father loves me!  I will never leave nor forsake you. Didn't I promise to help you? Several times. Trust me, my love. Accept my presence as a love gift to you. (See John 15; Hebrews 13:5; Proverbs 3:5-6; Romans 8:32.)


I invite you to meditate with me on Hebrews 13:5-6:

God has said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."
So we say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid."

How is the Lord's presence a love gift to you?

What is God saying to you?

What is your intellectual and emotional response?

What can you do to live confidently in His promises?