It’s a rainy day here in Minnesota. It’s only 39 degrees, which is well below average for this time of year. Fall is in full swing (but it feels like winter). The trees are starting to turn a variety of colors, even in the gloom of the day there is still beauty to be enjoyed. I am sitting at my kitchen island, with one full 360 swivel on my chair I am able to take in so many beautiful colors displayed right outside my windows.
I’m sheltered from the damp and cold elements but my body aches as the cold settles into my bones. It can’t decide if we are in fall, winter, or spring. It’s confused.
I am in a season of waiting…more precisely I’m waiting out a collection of STORMS. I know that everything will happen in God’s perfect timing. I have been a witness to this throughout my life. But His timing is typically WAY OFF from mine.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9
His steps differ from what I think they should be. His include detours, accidents, and sometimes the slower scenic route. I think He is calling me to make the most of all these moments, no matter what label I place over them.
He calls us to REDEEM our time. Take back our moments.
I have let moments pass me by. Really great ones, when I am too busy to see them. Or I am going to enjoy them, right after I finish this next task, which inevitably leads to another task.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
Sometimes his steps force me out of my comfort zone. It seems when I’m outside my safe zone I can hear Him more clearly. Maybe it’s because I’m required to lean deeper within Him in the moments of discomfort, when I am forced to choose love or fear. My love for Him and where he is leading, over the fear of “what-if’s”, judgement of others…this list is never-ending.
Sometimes I feel I have been lead into a storm. An emotional Hurricane. These times leave me wondering WHY?
But He is.
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
We are called to withstand the storms. This is where He does His BEST work in us. Yes, it’s about who we become along the way.
RESIST. Not react.
What’s the difference? We are not called to AVOID the storm, quite the opposite. We are called to get up, face it, confront it. I have grown to realize that withstand is also not equal to defend. Stand and reflect, like you are holding a shield remaining unaffected by it. Grow into it.
Christ’s example is the only way to endure suffering. We trust in God. There is no clarity when you step into and are led by faith. He alone determines our steps…if we want to get out of it ALIVE we must follow Him. To retaliate is to assume a right that is not ours. We are called to bend at His will. Make the right RESPONSES at the right TIME.
You must not react. You slowly respond to what is in front of you. Emotionally fueled reactions lead to destruction. Responding to life from a place of love, fueled by His love, giving Him all the glory leads to LIFE.
Respond like Christ.
Sometimes people’s reactions lead you to make hard decisions or your responses can make those around you feel uncomfortable. Listen, sometimes we react in ways that lead us to hear His convicting voice as well. Remain passionate, for we all know it’s uncomfortable to experience and hear these things.
Below is a quote from a most beloved book, “Beautiful Outlaw” — It is a FAVORITE. Digging deep into the personality of Jesus it explains that reading the gospels without knowing Jesus is like watching television with no volume.
“He woos, he confronts, he delivers, he heals, he shoots straight, and then he uses intrigue. He lives out before them the most compelling view of God, shows them an incredibly attractive holiness while shattering the religious glaze. But still, he lets them walk away if they choose.”
― Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus
For me withstanding the storms is listening to His voice. With His voice brings Joy, Power, Wisdom, and of course Love. We can grow deaf by our own negative self talk, or the negativity of the entire situation(s). Silence the competing voices so He can get a Word in. Once we listen to Him we will have something worth saying (the only reason I am able to write this blog)
Listen. Be present and hear His voice. It is only in this that we can withstand the storm. Pick up your Bible. Buy a Bible. Pray for those around you. We are blessed to have the freedom to do so.
Until I am compelled to share again.