Category Archives: Storms

Power Outage

Bedtime was still a few hours away so the girls and I each settled into our own pleasurable activities to wind-down for the night. One of the girls was giggling at an old movie while her sister was on the phone talking faster than anyone could possibly listen.

I too was occupied, completely unaware of the approaching storm. It wasn’t a big storm, just one of those that rolled in quickly, hit furiously, and left suddenly. But there we were, inside a house suddenly blackened by a power outage.

Immediate sounds of scurrying and bumping indicated that someone was slightly frantic. She was searching wildly for her cell phone because she had been disconnected. I suppose it was the urgency of the matter that caused her to forget how helpful the light can be. Her sister was a bit disgruntled at the forced intermission but decided to make the most of it by fixing a sandwich. She could not see into the refrigerator, however and grumbled, “How long till we get the power back?”

Quite amused, I waited a few moments before shedding light on the subject (literally). Because my husband and I are always prepared for a blackout, we always keep two oil lamps, candles and flashlights readily available. If a power outage happens at night, therefore, we are never left unprepared in the dark.

Still, neither of my daughters had thought to take advantage of the light which was practically at their fingertips. I lit one lamp and watched the girls settle into a more peaceful state now that they could see things more clearly.

Gazing at the soft, soothing glow of the lamp, I thought about the ten virgins who took their lamps to meet the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1f). Five wisely prepared their lamps with oil, five did not. Once these five realized they had forgotten the oil, they scrambled in desperation, much like my daughter did for the phone. It was too late. Their lack of preparation cost them dearly.

I thought too, about the unexpected storms of life. There have been times in my life when I was far less prepared than I needed to be when they hit. And like the girls, I was so distracted by immediate circumstances that I didn’t immediately reach for Jesus, the true Light.

One of the things that I dearly love about my husband is his calmness in the face of every storm, both physical and spiritual. Many years ago we faced a very destructive tornadic storm, which caused me great anxiety. I was on the other side of town, when several tornadoes began touching down near my home.

Regardless of the danger, I was determined to return home to my family. Our children were very small at the time and we lived in a mobile home park. Those are not the safest places to live, as evidenced on my way home. Several of the mobile homes from a nearby park had been thrown onto the highway and a few were perched in trees; few were left standing in the park. And to make matters worse, a radio announcement reported that the town located only miles from our home had been mostly leveled.

I assumed my family was in the storm shelter, and I knew deep down that God would protect them, but that didn’t stop worry from gripping my heart. It was not until I pulled into our park entrance that I began to relax; minimal damage was evident, but all was intact.

Rushing through my front door to grab a few things before joining my family, I was stunned to find all of them inside. I sternly asked my husband, “Why aren’t you in the shelter?” My husband smiled at me, raised his hands, and his gaze, heavenward and confidently answered, “I am!”

Obviously he knew where The Light was all along and was fully prepared.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).

Like A Flood

flood

 

Where have I been for the last few months, you might ask? Truthfully, I have been battling a rather serious health issue; one that has knocked me down more than once, but rest assured, I’m not down for the count. In fact, I plan to resume blogging now, despite my weakened condition. But first, I want to share a post from my archives because it seemed very appropriate amid the physical and emotional storms that so many are facing. I will share this post both here, and on my Rays of Light page, but check back soon because no matter what, God’s mercies are too great to keep silent and I will, Lord willing, be adding new posts to both sites very soon.

Today, as I gazed upon the brightest, most beautiful sky that I have seen in weeks, I couldn’t help but think of those living in flood-ravaged areas; and right now, there are plenty of those. I also wept for a few dear friends who are going through some very devastating storms in their personal lives. It seems that so many of us are going through heavy storms of one type or another. Don’t give up, friends, even when those storms seem to come against you………..

LIKE A FLOOD

Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.

This past weekend, the weather here was horrendous. We were hit with the whole gamut of storm threats, including tornadoes, hail and flooding. In fact the hail stone pictured –or should I say hail boulder- was one of many that pounded this region. There was quite a bit of property loss in our area, but praise the LORD, there were no serious injuries.

hail

I thought of the second half of Isaiah 59:19: When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. However, the ancient Hebrew texts did not have commas, or paragraphs for that matter, so instead of reading:

When the enemy shall come in like a flood —the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him

the verse could just as easily read

When the enemy shall come in —like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

What’s the difference? The difference is where you place the emphasis. Dear reader, when you are bombarded with the storms of life, do you focus more on the storm, or on the one who can calm it?

It is only natural to feel completely overwhelmed at times. Undoubtedly, many of the folks here that lost their homes in the tornadoes felt that way. I’m sure they could relate to the words of King David did when he penned the following:

My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.
Psalm 55:4-8 NIV

But David didn’t stop there, allowing his situation to flood him with despair. Instead, he confidently proclaimed, “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me” (verse 16).

Dear reader, I leave you with these encouraging words from the same Psalm; may they flood you with peace during your roughest storms.

“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved (verse 22).

(Like a Flood originally posted April 2012)

Frozen Lasagna

lasagna

Perhaps I’m stating the obvious, but frozen lasagna generally cooks better when the oven is turned on. I was reminded of this just last week when my growling tummy urged me into the kitchen to partake of what should have been a bubbly, cheesy delight, only to find a rock-solid block of disappointment instead.

Heat is not always a bad thing!

Truthfully, I would do well to remember that this summer, as I begin to complain at the high temps, and grumble that I don’t do heat (or mornings). Better yet, I would do well to remember the benefits of heat when I am in the midst of spiritual battles -and spiritual growth –both of which often go hand-in-hand.

The apostle Peter acknowledges that our trials are fiery: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.” (I Peter 4:12)

Furthermore, James encourages us to embrace our trials: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

I repeat, heat is not always a bad thing!

Dear reader, may we all persevere through all of life’s battles, no matter how difficult they may be, knowing full-well that the heat of adversity is the element which refines us, and defines us; preparing us to be individuals who are pleasing to the Lord.

Those fiery trials, which we all know so well, only serve to ensure that when at last we stand before our Lord face-to-face, we will be ‘on fire’  –never  a cold,  rock-solid block of disappointment!

Strength of Flight

flight

Sampson slowly made his way to the edge of the lawn, surveyed his unfamiliar surroundings once more, then rocketed into the sky majestically, with great strength of flight. Had I not been nursing this beautiful pigeon back to health for the past week, I would never have known that he had recently been too injured and too frightened to fly.

In addition to a gash across his torso, a great many of Sampson’s breast feathers had been pulled out so that his strength was diminished, much like the biblical Sampson who lost his strength when his hair was cut; thus the bird’s nickname. But on this beautiful spring day Sampson was flying superbly like the strong racing pigeon he is, even before his feathers had a chance to fill back in. Words simply cannot express how much joy I felt at seeing him soar through the air, happy and free.

Seeing how quickly Sampson regained his strength brought to my mind Isaiah 40:29:

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

Actually, we can all glean a little lesson about trust from Sampson –the bird, not the Israelite.  While caged, he may not have understood that he was being temporarily restrained for his own good; he probably didn’t perceive that in just a little while he would be as strong ever, yet he was still very calm and trusting the whole time he was under my care. And once healed, Sampson did not let fear stop him from immediately soaring to great heights.

Dear reader, perhaps the situations of life have left you wounded in some way, perhaps even feeling caged in. Be of good courage, for the LORD has everything under control and He is as anxious as you to see you soar to greater heights. And in His perfect time, He will give you the necessary ability and fortitude for incredible strength of flight!

This too shall pass!

bunny.engergizer

Certainly, we all need to: Put on the whole armor of God, that [we] may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

Although, truth be told, sometimes the devil has absolutely nothing to do with those insufferable days and seasons when everything that can go wrong does; and like the Energizer® bunny, just keeps on going. Comedian and Gospel singer, Mark Lowry, has often said that his favorite Bible verse is, “This too shall pass!” Of course, that’s not a literal verse, but the concept is certainly found within the pages of our precious Holy Bible.

Dear reader, I pray you start every day, especially the more difficult ones, with the full assurance that When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles (Psalms 34:17).

And, if you listen closely during those trying times, you will most assuredly hear the LORD gently remind you, “This too shall pass!”

********************

Is your armor scratched and well-worn? If so, you may enjoy my Rays of Light blog:
KNIGHTS IN DAZE
(click on this link to view)

“I Was Asleep”

My son recently upgraded to a larger, softer bed. A few days later, hoping that this had helped to alleviate some of the discomfort that he had been having, I asked, “Did you sleep any better?” Without skipping a beat, he nonchalantly answered, “I don’t know. I was asleep.”

To some, this answer might sound smart-alecky, but to those who know my son to be the concrete thinker that he is, his answer was perfectly logical. It never occurred to him that within my question, there was an implied inquiry as to whether or not the new mattress had a positive effect on his body. Still, his answer took me by surprise. I expected a yes or no, at the very least, but instead, he simply answered that he was asleep.

That plain, uncomplicated response brought to my mind the following Scripture:

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:
for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
–Psalms 4:8

Dear reader, it doesn’t get any simpler than this. The Lord has everything under control, and He will take care of us! I pray, therefore, that whenever you are distressed and discomfited, that you will not be tempted to stay awake at night fretting and worrying. Let us instead look to Jesus as our example. When the storm was raging, He was sleeping on a cushion in the stern of the boat (Mark 4:38). Likewise, when the storms of life raged so fiercely that others feared you would drown, I trust you simply, and confidently, told them, “I was asleep!”

My Reality Check Bounced


“My reality check bounced,” lamented one frustrated soul. Who amongst us has not experienced that sentiment on occasion? I remember too well the first time my bank of faith was severely overdrawn: I stood angry, throwing a tantrum,  a new-born believer accusing God, as though that were really possible, invisible fists waving, tears streaming.

You promised thus and such, I reminded Him. Yet every time I take a few steps toward you, I complained further, you kick the ladder out from underneath me.

Dear reader, if you know me personally, or read my blogs regularly, you might think this sounds nothing like me, and you would be correct. But this event happened many years ago when I was still wearing spiritual diapers, immature, not realizing that it was time to take baby steps into those trials that would serve to increase my faith and build character.

If only I had internalized Psalm 9:10 before my world fell apart, Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you, I may have behaved less like a spoiled child and fought the good fight. In those early days, however, I didn’t know how to hang on to my faith in a Job-like situation and so I grumbled and wailed.

Have you ever been there, friend? Are you there now? Perhaps you are presently going through a battle and feel, as I did those many years ago, that God has deserted you in your time of need. If so may I say, in love, that your reality check has bounced. GOD has said He will never leave us nor forsake us. And we know that He will cause all things, even our trials and sufferings, to work for our good. (Romans 8:28).

And you can take that to the bank!

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid (of them): for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee (Deuteronomy 31:6).

The Lord replied, “My precious child, precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering
when you saw only one set of footprints…
It was then that I carried you.

Footprints in the Sand — Leona Lewis (click here to listen)

Like A Flood

Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.

This past weekend, the weather here was horrendous. We were hit with the whole gamut of storm threats, including tornadoes, hail and flooding. In fact the hail stone pictured –or should I say hail boulder- was one of many that pounded this region. There was quite a bit of property loss in our area, but praise the LORD, there were no serious injuries.

I thought of the second half of Isaiah 59:19: When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. However, the ancient Hebrew texts did not have commas, or paragraphs for that matter, so instead of reading:

When the enemy shall come in like a flood —the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him

the verse could just as easily read

When the enemy shall come in —like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

What’s the difference? The difference is where you place the emphasis. Dear reader, when you are bombarded with the storms of life, do you focus more on the storm, or on the one who can calm it?

It is only natural to feel completely overwhelmed at times. Undoubtedly, many of the folks here that lost their homes in the tornadoes felt that way. I’m sure they could relate to the words of King David did when he penned the following:

My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.
Psalm 55:4-8 NIV

But David didn’t stop there, allowing his situation to flood him with despair. Instead, he confidently proclaimed, “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me” (verse 16).

Dear reader, I leave you with these encouraging words from the same Psalm; may they flood you with peace during your roughest storms.

“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved (verse 22).