Monday, August 9, 2010

Good morning!  Come on in and sit down.  I'm glad you made it back to the cafe.  I'm sorry if it's a little confusing - I know I just posted an article about God's grace (previously published on "The Cypress Times), but something else has popped into my head this morning, and I really want to share it with you.

The other night I was in complete, that's not what I want to share with you.  I was trying to get dinner together because I'm the mom around here, and that's what we moms do.

Anyway, I had the "mother "of all headaches.  If you've ever suffered a horrible migraine, you know what I'm talking about.  It's debilitating, to say the least.  It controls me.  I can't function.  The simplest of tasks are a nightmare to complete because all I can think about IS THE PAIN when I'm in the middle of it.

I realized that the same goes for other painful situations we encounter on a daily basis.  When we find ourselves tossed about in a storm, the waves controlling us, paralyzing us into thinking there's no way out, Jesus is extending his hand through the clouds. You've probably heard this analogy used before; comparing life's battles to a storm - well, it's true.  If you've ever watched a boat out on the ocean, you see that boat forced to go with the tide. It can't control the waves that carry it.  The waters swell, there's turbulence in the current below, yet the boat still floats and rides the waves.  However, the fiercest, most violent of storms is nothing to God.

I’ll never forget that day many, many years ago; while the rain poured outside, the real storm brewed inside.  There I sat, on the arm of the couch, staring through the window at my car left for dead at the curb.  My 3-year-old son worked and re-worked Lego projects in an attempt to defy boredom while my baby girl needed diapers and formula and fought a low-grade fever.  

I wiped away tears as I considered borrowing a neighbor’s car and floating a check at the grocery store to pay for what I needed, then pray to God it wouldn’t hit the bank for another 2 days (obviously back before the advent of the debit card).

I remember all too well those feelings of isolation, loneliness and desperation, and vowed to never again find myself on that narrow ledge.  At the time, my husband’s job took him away during the weekdays, allowing me only weekends to communicate with someone from the grown-up world.  During those 6 months, I got a taste of single parenting and found the experience to register in the red zone on the “Difficulty” scale.

But I look back on that day now in appreciation.  Certainly, I couldn't see beyond the storm.  I was in the middle of it, and God hadn't yet revealed what was on the other side.  There I was in the pain, in the reality of my circumstances, paralyzed in my way of thinking, but Jesus extended his mighty hand through the clouds and brought me through!  Praise God for supplying my needs.
Now that I'm a little more...mature/older and a little more grown up in Christ, I realize that the storms are necessary for us to have a testimony! I know that's the last thing you want to hear when you're feeling beaten up by life, but hold on.  There is hope in Jesus and a blessing right around the corner with your name on it.

Mark 4:35-40 tells us "That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
 39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
 40He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
(Mark 4:35-40) NIV

If you're in the storm today, reach up and grab the hand of the One who calms the seas.  And then share your story with others so that you may bring glory to Him!

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