This past weekend my family had the privilege of attending the wedding of 2 very dear friends, in VA! On Sunday we heard a powerful message on finding peace throughout the storms of life – abiding in Christ, resting in Him, receiving His sufficient grace and perfect strength … knowing that He intercedes for us when we do not know how to pray as we ought. And Father spoke to me through that message – because I am battling storms in my own life wherein I find myself again and again wrestling to rise above and claim the victory that He has already won.
How many times do we find ourselves in a storm, and all we know how to pray is “Help!”?
We don’t what to pray for, but we are aware of how very weak and insufficient we are in ourselves. And praise God, He is all knowing, all powerful, and all victorious!
I did a lot of thinking on our drive home – 7 hours of driving later that afternoon, and on into the evening.
How prone I am to want to a fix-it-and-forget-it solution; a detailed list of steps laid out for me that are proven to work without fail. If I could pray this prayer, or speak those words, or know that truth and find myself instantly transformed into the person I want to be. Oh to be like Jesus without having to really work at it … to love this person, or get along with so-and-so … to develop that quality I’m lacking in, to have a bigger heart for those around me with great needs … to rejoice in all circumstances, to yield to His will and not my own … to be faithful in prayer …
I cannot count the number of times in my life that I’ve prayed “Help!”, feeling as though there were no words to take to Him.
While we were driving home, I saw a billboard on the side of the highway. It said “I still love you” … with one of the fish symbols that said Jesus inside. Something as little and insignificant as one-in-a-million billboards on the side of the highway between VA and NC – used by Him to remind me of the truth. He still loves me, and always will. It doesn’t matter what I’ve gone through, what lies ahead, or how I might be wrestling with a present storm that surrounds me.
Jesus loves me.
Words would fail to describe the work that He did in my heart … the way that Father opened my eyes to understand deeper things from His Word, even how He showed me more of His heart and His character as I thought through some things in my own life and prayed to Him for guidance and wisdom and HELP.
How simple it is when we boil it down to this one truth – that the answer to every challenge or storm we have ever experienced, are going through, or are yet to face – is a deeper love relationship with Jesus Christ. When we turn to Him, yield ourselves more fully, seek His face more diligently, pray more faithfully … He will teach us more and more about Himself and His very nature – the heart of God. And that is how we will receive courage, strength, and grace to rise above and walk victoriously – in Him.
When I take my eyes off of the storm and fix them on my Heavenly Father, He will guide me, instruct me, and lead me To His Intended Place.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by how very broken and messed up I am. There are so many areas where I need to grow, forgive, repent, forsake, surrender, receive, obey … that I don’t know where to start or what to do. And He showed me that I need to live my life for Him one moment at a time – here and now. Because I cannot go back, and I do not need to worry about living the next week or month or year with as little failure as possible. Right now. How will I respond?
In this moment, how will I respond to whatever I am facing?
We arrived home late, unpacked some things, and piled into our beds – exhausted. I didn’t know that I was coming down with something … that I would get very little sleep and restless sleep at that … or that I would spend all of Monday in bed, trying not to lose the little bit of food that I ate for breakfast or dinner, and struggling to find a comfortable position to sleep.
Sometimes I do all the right things, take all the proper steps … and still the storm rages. Again and again I am reminded that GOD is my healer. There is no healing, apart from Him.
I journaled. I wrote down what Father had been speaking to my heart and teaching me. I was able to rest throughout the day, meditate on Scripture, and pray. I was reminded to give thanks in all things – and to think about the benefits of this “storm” and the lessons I was learning through it. I had time to think – moments all throughout the day when normally I would have been catching up on a lot of busyness left behind over the weekend.
It was pretty incredible.
This past weekend I was encouraged yet again with the reminder that no matter what I’m facing or going through right here, right now … He is on my side, fighting for me. He is good, and He does all things well. His grace is sufficient, His strength is made perfect in my weakness. He loves me no matter what I have done or will do today. He is walking beside me through this present storm and will never leave me or forsake me. He prays for me when I do not know how to pray for myself, and He sees and knows the depths of my heart. He wants me to right here, right now in this very moment choose a right response, and He will lead me in that if I’m willing and obedient. He is bigger and stronger than the most difficult circumstances or storms of life – and He is the ultimate healer – more than all the remedies or steps, or tried-and-true methods out there … and He loves me.