Thursday, September 22, 2011

In the storm

Sitting in church on Sunday morning I had this picture in my head - out of no where really.  It kinda went along with what the sermon was about, but kinda not. Then as the sermon (which was given by one of our church's Elders) neared the end, the man preaching/teaching hit the nail right on the head - and it totally went along with this picture in my brain.

I'm gonna try to describe it to you, and since I'm not an artist - at all - I did find a couple of pictures to help you along a bit.

In my mind it was a person - picture yourself - standing on a very tall mountain. And there was a terrible storm going on all around them! Thunder, lighting, rain, wind, dark clouds... the full blown, scary kind of storm! Enough to scar anyone.

But it's not an actual storm going on. I mean it is, but not the weather type of storm. It's the life type of storm. Things like sickness, death, guilt, money, relationships, jobs, families, kids, church, life - whatever.  Sometimes it feels like so much going on it's like a raging storm! We think - I cannot handle one more thing, not one more emotion, then the one more thing happens. Then what? We stand there, arms raised, in the storm asking God any number of questions...



How long will it go on?

How much more can I handle?

What do you want me to do?


Can you see the two pictures above together? You standing - arms wide open - yelling, crying, calling out to God - while the storm swirls around you? Do you feel like the lighting might strike? Is it too much? I've felt that way. I think many people have. But what I'm trying to learn - this week in fact - is it's all about how we handle what God sends our way.

So this is the picutre in my mind at the begining of the sercvice, and as the sermon came to an end, the Elder that was speaking said these words "We don't understand the fullness, the depth, of the freedom we have in Christ." That hit me. That's exactly why sometimes I personally feel like I'm standing - exposed in a storm - because I do not understand the freedom I have in my salvation in Christ.

Take a look at this:
Psalm 46
 1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.
 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
   God will help her at break of day.

That was the passage the sermon was based on. So here is exactly why - when I'm standing in the midts of a storm - emotional, circumstantial even spiritual - there's no need for me to stand with my arms open asking God why? His timing and His reasons are perfect - I should be standing in the storm with my arms wide open praising Him for being my refuge and strength. AND I shouldn't be afraid.

So the picture in my head didn't change, it just took on a calm - a calm around the person standing. The storm raged on, but, wrapped in the love, peace, and security of Christ - was calmness.

This is a lesson I've been thinking about and pondering all week. It's taken me all week to process and really try to learn it and make it a part of me.

One parting thought - Christ's death on the cross let's us trade in the stuff that's shaky for a firm foundation. He takes the unstable and makes it stable, so I have nothing to fear!

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