Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Weathering the storms of life

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Acts 27, 28; Proverbs 3

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Acts 27:9 (NIV)

9 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast [the day of Atonement.]

Good morning!

Do you ever feel like you are out there all alone, trying to swim upstream against a strong under current? I admit I have moments of spiritual despair. Yet, I found great encouragement and support this past weekend at the Presence Based Church seminars led by Dr. Terry Teykl. He encourages worship based prayer for every Christian and to seek God’s holy presence in all they do. Praying God’s Word, the Holy Scripture, is emphasized at the Teykl seminars. Everything begins and ends with prayer. Dr. Teykl says that we are to pray the prayers the Lord would have us pray. What are you praying for today?

My understanding is so very limited. No matter how much time I spend reading, studying and writing, I lack the wisdom I long for. King Solomon prayed to the Lord for wisdom. Some say He was the wisest man that ever lived. My limited vision keeps me from seeing the bigger picture. I struggle to gain not just wisdom, but His wisdom. How I long to see things the way Christ sees them. Oh, to have the perfect vision of our Lord. Maybe you are praying for wisdom today.

Our journey is never safe or easy. We are risk takers, from the moment we breathe our very first breath, until we die and rest in the everlasting arms. The Apostle Paul knew what it was like to travel a treacherous path. He, along with some other prisoners, boarded a ship that was sail along the coast of Asia. It was in the fall of the year, when weather patterns were rapidly changing. Ships in early days were not built with the sophisticated compass and tracking systems we now have at our disposal. Captains relied upon the stars to navigate their boats in the water. Overcast weather made travel very, very dangerous, even impossible at times. The Day of Atonement had come and gone. Colder weather, shorter days and cloudy nights caused a great panic on the ship in which Paul was sailing. Tossed about in the wind and waves, and caught in what is known as a “northeaster,” everyone aboard gave up on any hope of being saved. Have you ever felt like giving up on God’s promise of salvation? Is your life being tossed about by the difficulties and problems you face? Where can one sail to seek safe harbor in the storms of life?

King Solomon understood that human understanding is limited. Without the Lord’s leading, we will all be lost to the relentless storms of life. He said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” We need to walk a straight path every day, as we seek His holy face in worship and praise. Only God can take the hairpin curves of our journey and straighten them out once and for all.

What does it take to trust the Lord with all your heart and not dwell upon the things we see in the physical realm?

When the seminar ended Sunday evening, Pastor Teykl gave me a hug goodbye and whispered in my ear, “You are not alone.” In that simple sentence, I could hear the voice of Christ filling me with reassurance and hope. We are not alone! We have God’s power and wisdom and His amazing strength to weather the storms in our lives and move forward to the task He has called us to. We can share the Gospel with others! We don’t have to rely upon our own abilities. The storms will always rage around us. We must choose whether to focus on the tidal wave we see in the physical realm or on the One who can calm the raging storm with one Word.

I’m fixing my eyes on Jesus today. Won’t you join me? If we hold hands, we can do this together.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: greater faith, to see beyond the storms of life and realize there is abundant and everlasting life in the power and presence of Almighty God. Won’t you worship and praise Him today?


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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