Tornadoes, Wildfires, and…what next?

You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided;
the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap [their] hands.

Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will come up,

and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up;
it will make a name for the LORD as an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed.                      Isaiah 55:12-13 (HCSB)

As I write this, many parts of the United States have been torn apart by tremendous tornadoes, wildfires are creeping across many states, and hurricane season hasn’t even begun. We can ask ourselves what is going on but maybe it is more important that we know the immediate answer to “What shall we do?”. The answer is – pray.

I’m not sure if it’s that I have the wisdom of age to know that there are more situations in which I do not have control or if there really are more situations that I have no control. I believe we must steep ourselves not in newscasts or internet news blogs and magazines but in the PROMISES of GOD! I am not a ‘doomsday’ prophet but just a Christian who has, frankly, been spending too much time watching CNN and listening to people debate ad nauseum the events of the day or week. This isn’t working for me! It is time to make a change!

Who is it that knows the number of hairs on my head? Who is it that created the winds and the oceans? If I am looking for wisdom and peace in the days ahead, then I am looking to my Creator. Like the disciples in the boat on the Sea of Galilee, I am going to call on and look for the one who has the power over the winds and waves and walks through the stormy waters like he is walking on a sidewalk. (Luke 8:22-25, John 6:16-21)

Last night, my daughter and her family spent some time in a closet, under a mattress, while sirens wailed through the night sending off an alarm about nearby tornadoes. I thank God they are all right. But as I waited over 600 miles away to receive a text from her that the storms had passed, I am grateful that it was not panic that I felt but assurance that Jesus was in that closet with them. No matter what happened, they were not “alone” but instead they were in the very presence of God, just as the disciples were in the boat. That is an example of that peace that passes all understanding(Philippians 4:7).

Earlier in Philippians, Paul says that he hasn’t reached the perfection that Jesus has for him (3:12) but he is pressing on towards the goal. I, too, today am pressing on toward the goal that Jesus has for me. I have fallen ‘way short of Jesus’ goals for me this week but I have also raised my hands in victory – grateful that Jesus did not leave my side in the former nor the latter. That is what a true friend and Savior does.

If storms are swirling around in your life this week, turn your eyes and heart to the One who really has the power. You may not even know how to express your feelings but the Good News is – He can understand and save you any way.

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