The magic of Christmas

 

Does anyone do a Christmas Parade better than Disney?

Though we were standing in a ‘desert’ land, Los Angeles, and even if it was a little chilly, we weren’t quite ready for what we were to experience.

The ‘heavens’ opened and we starting to be showered with tiny white snowflakes that fluttered gently down over the whole of Main Street, Disneyland….and, you won’t believe it, the flakes filled the air with the familiar, memory-evoking fragrance of spiced cookies!

And then came the fireworks, flashing over Snow White’s Castle, the occasional shooting star coming out of nowhere and streaming across the night canvas, making us wish we could just stay here forever. Genius!  (Here I would insert the words :Ohhh Emmm Geee, but I would receive an outcry from certain relatives and descendants were I to do that, so I won’t.) 

DISNEY Christmas Fireworks

Had I EVER seen such a magnificent display of light and music and beauty all in one? Rare, I tell you!  Even the legendary show of Sydney Harbour on a New Year’s Eve was not a match for this,(argh! Sacrilege!) I think it was the skilled and experienced marriage of music and memory in a masterful stroke which now brought corporate reflection, its inspiration literally thrilling the crowd.  We stood, transfixed.  And we reminded ourselves to remember this Disney miracle!

I sat down to spend some time with the Saviour this morning, in a quiet house of Sleeping Beauties (I’m staying at my daughter’s LA apartment and of course this is an hour on a Saturday when no man or woman should be up and roaming the streets, after all it’s only 9am). Not even a mouse was stirring.  (Sorry, a Christmas metaphor. We don’t have mice.)

And there….Lo and Behold (to use some fine Christmas language…)  There, in my trusty devotional from the legendary Billy Graham, was written the reason for my focus and subsequent elated response to the Presence of Jesus, which was now so, well… palpable. Yep, could actually feel it…

His presence.  With me.  On a quiet Saturday morning. No fireworks. No pretty, smelly snowflakes.  Just me.  And Him.

“God – you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, travelling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last!”

(Ps 63:1-4)

And I thought….although I was moved to my bootstraps (sorry, my sandal straps) last night at Disneyland, and though I felt like I could fly like a Tinkerbell given a couple of lessons, or soar like Peter (Pan, not Cephas) because I felt so high and free….it was a release of emotion and memory and all the things that Disney is so very clever at bringing out in me.  It wasn’t until this morning when I sat and read Truth in the Bible that I realised something.

Emotion, feeling, happiness and great memory can all give me a lovely feeling that washes over me in touchy-feely loveliness, and that’s just great…..But it really is Truth that brings my spirit into play with my soul. That’s the eternal part of me. 

Lovely and inspirational as it is, it is simply not the Eternal Message of Christmas itself …  

Imagine, if you will, poorly clothed and under-educated men called shepherds, diligently minding a ragtag bunch of animals on the side of a Judean Hill in the First Century….The sky fills with supernatural beings who chorus in songs that have such a Heavenly lilt and pitch to them that it is clearly out of this world. And lights – more stars and light than they have ever ever seen, bringing to the unpretentious hearts of down-to-earth men the most brilliant Hope. Their hearts sink and soar at once, and they feel the whole ball and dice of emotion in a second. And Heaven’s glow washes them, inspires them and scares them out of their wits…all at the same time, as it comes to earth in a blaze of Glory.

Now that’s something, don’t you think?

Not that Disney is not. Something, I mean.  And I sincerely thank you, Walt, for inspiring and leading a movement (struggled with that word, but surely Disney is not just a ‘company’) that encourages people to ‘believe again’.  We honour you and thank you. Don’t want to denigrate what you’re doing to inspire yet again a generation.  You’re brilliant!

But let’s not think it’s a match for what has already visited our planet.  It’s not to be compared with what continues to be celebrated across the nations and peoples of our world every year at this time.  It’s not to be substituted for the Christmas Story that comes to us from long ago, remaining as an inspiration for all who will turn and take a look…

It won’t smell of spiced cookies, but it will change you. The lights won’t be manufactured, but will be a reflection of the Heavenly Host that was created so long ago. The sound will be from the heart of One who cares for you alone, even on a quiet Saturday morning in your lonely house. Because, He cares.  Deeply.

Love the Disney experience!   But, if you will, embrace the Jesus story. Find out about His heart for you that is Forever. Remember, there is a Story that is everlasting, ‘magical’ and amazing…we hear about it each Christmas, but it’s real and it’s ready to bring Heaven to us on Earth. Can you hear it?

SHEPHERDS

 

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Easter’s gift!

As Easter approaches

Brightly wrapped set of Chocolate Easter Eggs photo

It’s Easter week and I am reminded of the profound gift that is mine from my Heavenly Father. This gift is given to me forever, and shows the generosity and incomprehensible love that has forever and always pierced and lifted my heart. The gift of Jesus, to me.

There are many ways for us to give.  For us to reflect the Father’s heart.

Let me tell you a story….

It was Christmas, 2013, and I received a gift from my son and daughter in law which made me cry, not out of sadness but a realisation that a tender and observant heart can bring blessing and honour to a mother, as hands are extended in love and generosity. These two dear ones had spent the last months bringing an old toy back to life and restoring its former glory, just to bring me joy. And it was presented to me with loving hearts and hands.

I share with you today an excerpt from my book “Dancing With My Daddy” so that you will understand the context, and then this gift.

My rocking horse
My rocking horse

“With dappled grey, hardwood body and long, flowing mane, he stood in the corner of my room, upstairs in the little council house which was identical to rows of others in a neat English street.  Ready to entertain me at a moment’s notice, this most beautiful of rocking horses was a hand-me-down, but nonetheless, my pride and joy.

Dark red reins draped his head, and he held a wry smile – as rocking horses do.  His saddle was ever ready to take me to a new adventure. 

Though painted on, his beautiful eyes beckoned me with a life-like wink.  Just a shake of his luxurious rope mane, and I believed in his whispering tales of new lands to conquer, new pastures to visit, long and rolling meadows to gallop together, with all my heart. 

For many years I was too small to climb up on his saddle without help, but later as I grew I would spend time just rocking to and fro, thinking and dreaming little girl dreams.  I was just the two of us, in or own special world.  Coloured and faraway lands called me forth to play.  Lands of castles, princesses and high towers, trusty steeds that sped through thickly wooded forests and spirited me away from lurking goblins and the like; terrors of the forest and true heroes lived in this magical world.

And as we travelled through verdant glens and valleys, passing by imaginary friends, and stopping in for tea parties at lavish estates with kings and queens, we would experience the adventures that only a child’s mind can comprehend.  He and I were one.”

The story goes on to say that my Dad eventually gave away my rocking horse, and of course, with it went memories and childhood stories that could live only in my mind. But little did I know, Dad had reflected the heart of the Father in Heaven as he gave the rocking horse to a poor family, to a little immigrant girl who had very few toys, and small joy in her life.

“What does it take to reflect God’s heart?  Generosity, care for others, and a vision to bless a neighbour.” 

What came next in the story, though, is what shows the generosity of one for another.The reward that comes to the generous.

My Easter Sunday was forever marked in my mind that year, as I ran home from celebrating the festival at church, and, wanting to open my usual one Easter egg, I was astounded as I opened the door and there, on the kitchen table…the biggest surprise gift from….the little girl’s family who had been given my rocking horse!

Yes…generosity begets generosity.  The Father’s love and His immeasurable gift to us is evidence that we are able to have hearts of love and consideration towards others…to love because He loved.

To give because He gave.

Here’s the prayer at the end of the chapter which may help you today:   “Often I hug the hurts of the life life so very close that I can’t see the lesson that you have in them for me. Help me to look up, to look around, and to see what it is in each season of life that you want to teach me.  Help me to understand that a generous heart is straight from you…..” 

As you and I celebrate Easter this coming weekend, let’s never forget the value and the impact on humanity that God’s greatest gift to us has brought us.  The gift that will never fail us. The Son of God in our hearts for ever…if we will just believe.

And in the meantime, our everyday lives can be released to reflect the Father’s generosity…if we will but ask Him to give us opportunities…every day.

Psalm 112:5:

“Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely.  He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor”

**Note: Here’s a link to a video which will tell you all about Dancing With My Daddy (Every Daughter’s Journey)   http://store.influenceresources.com/products/dancing-with-my-daddy

 

 

Photos by stevendepolo,

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 
photo credit: M Hooper via <a href="http
photo credit: M Hooper via

It’s New Year’s Eve!    As we leave the old and bring in the new…what are your thoughts about the future?

Counting down at midnight, what do you think will be uppermost in your mind about what’s ahead?

I was taking down my Christmas tree and all the family decorations just yesterday and I mused about the correlation that this often has in our minds to saying ‘goodbye’ to an old year and ushering in the new one.
It never changes. We do it at this time of the year, every year.
And yet we hope for a ‘better tomorrow’ and wish one another health and happiness as we approach the countdown. Every year. Someone once said the ‘definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result’.
Truth is, if we just pack away the ‘old’ and bring it out again in the future…how have we moved forward?

tree 2

………..5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And it’s here.  The new slate upon which to write. A year that’s never been lived. The hope that things will all be different now…

Sigh.

As I packed away the beautiful coloured baubles into their boxes and stacked each one neatly in its place up high in the storage cupboard, I couldn’t help but think to myself….this will all be away now until the end of the new year, when I’ll bring it all out and put it on display…again. Been doing it for decades.

BAUBLES 2

The Christmas tree now looks bare. It’s sad to see it being dismantled. The Santa hats have been flung around the place, waiting for collection. Listlessly they hang, as if nobody cares now, when last week we were all running around with the red and white adornments on our heads wishing health and happiness to all.  Now they lay like drunken and spent bodies after a wild NYE party. HAT 2

The angel dolls, so carefully placed next to Christmas candles, have spent the last month adorning my lounge room, silently singing carols and wishing us good cheer.  Now they sleep peacefully in the box of Christmas things, like resposing princesses, waiting for their chance to shine again.

ANGELS 2 Not sad, but thought provoking.  Here are a few of my own thoughts – call them my resolutions if you will – as I start towards the new year of 2014:

REFLECTION is always good!

1.   We can grow by allowing ourselves to think.

I know, I know…obvious, right?
But it’s something that we ‘prefectionistas’ don’t necessarily allow ourselves the luxury of doing. “Necessity is the mother of invention”, my Mum always said…. So when we come to the place of realising that it’s so necessary to reflect, and not just swiftly move on…that’s when change can actually happen in us. Do I allow myself to do that in my busy and bustling world?

Take it easy!  Put up your feet, make a cuppa and reflect on YOU. You’re so worth it!

2.   We can grow by allowing ourselves to dismantle.

What?! But I’m a mother, a wife, a woman of the 21st century…it’s dangerous and vulnerability rules when I think about this – and yes, that’s the point! We grow the most in our character when we are the most vulnerable, but then are open to change and move forward. Before the Creator of all things…let it all hang out! In the private place of devotion to Jesus, you can.  And it’s entirely possible, that things will be different from this moment on.

Let your hair down!  Allow yourself to ‘deconstruct’, not in an indulgent way, but before Jesus himself…being honest, believing for the best for YOU in the new year.

3.    We can grow by allowing ourselves grace.

Decide on a new colour scheme for the Christmas tree next year. (I can almost hear you sucking in your breath as your heart beats wildly in your chest…too much?) Yes, tradition is good, but it can’t rule you. Let God place a new dream, a new pattern of His thinking, a new vision in your heart. don’t box yourself in to the old perameters! (definition: ‘a limit or boundary that defines the scope of a particular process or activity’} 

… think OUTSIDE of that box. Why can’t things be different for you next year?  It’s just a decision away!

Think about this:

* What would I have changed?  

* What could I have done differently? (it may even help to write it down in your journal!)

* What could I have done more effectively? (character, relationship building, career/family?)

*  How can I avoid the mistakes of the past being repeated in this approaching new year?

*  What can I leave behind?

* What is useful that can be packed safely away but brought out another day?

Next year…newness may rule.  Or not.  That’s my decision. Bring it on!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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I’ll Be Home For Christmas

photo credit: scottwills via photopin cc
photo credit: scottwills via photopin cc

I heard yesterday that Aussie troops have pulled out of Afghanistan, leaving the war behind. There are some 400 who will remain, but they are not going to be in the danger zone where the killing and the maiming of civilians and troops alike took place over the last years, ever since 2001.

The troops are making their way home for Christmas. Can you imagine the joy around some Christmas family tables next week, where the returned heroes are the centre of attention? How the families must have longed for their sons and daughters to be released from the fray and be on the journey home so many times.

But I do have to wonder…how will the next months, even years, play out for these people who have been subject to the horrors of war and active service, who have been separated from friends and loved ones for in some cases months and often years at a time? Is there going to be a problem for some of them with Post War Syndrome, or Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome? When the Christmas things are packed away and life returns to what it was like before…

Have you ever been in a situation of extreme stress, then left that part of your life in order to resume a so-called ‘normal’ life?  

Sometimes you can feel battered beyond recognition, bruised in your emotions to the point where it’s hard to even feel for a while.  It’s not unusual, you know.  These returned soldiers may feel after the Christmas decorations are put away and all the Christmas cake and festival foods are eaten, that they are still in battle.  And sometimes when we’ve been through a ‘big season’ in our lives, we feel the same.

I wrote a book about someone who had Post War Syndrome, and who, because of his inability to relate due to the shattering of the war experience in his life, continued to live within the virtual confines of a prisoner of war camp, long after he was released.

“There’s a war been declared over our lives.  It’s one that will take us to the very ‘edge’ if we will let it.” (check out where this quote came from)

So often we can think that when the war is over, the troops come home, all is well with the world.  But it’s not like that is it?  We are in a ‘war’ everyday.  The big, stress-filled experiences of life want to shoot us down and take us out.

Are you ready to face the enemy now, all guns blazing, or are you beating the retreat with haste, defeated and downtrodden in the wake of the battle?  Are you able to pick yourself up after your experience and resume life, filled now and shaped by the richness of the life-story that you’re living…with every moment beating in you like the adrenalin that courses through the body in battle? Or have you been left defeated, drained and downtrodden?

Here’s a thought from Psalm 86:

“Listen closely to my prayer O Lord,
Hear my urgent cry.
I will call to you whenever trouble strikes,
And you will answer me”.

So often I hear of good people being ‘taken out’ by the circumstances of life.  Unable to forget, unable to forgive, unable to move on.  The emotions can rule us, or….. and yes, there is an alternative, the spirit within us can rule.

So making the spirit strong and able to sustain may just be our answer. And the question, you ask? It’s this: how do I remain strong and get on with life with all its fullness after I’ve been knocked around by life? By calling out for help!

Spiritual things and the spiritual life are as important to us as human beings as anything that we live through, live for or live out. 

Coming ‘home’ for Christmas is  the ultimate homecoming, of course.

It is the dream for every wearied soldier in the battle.  It’s the song we sing in this season….

Michael Buble may sing about it being “if only in my dreams”…but the reality is that homecoming to Jesus is what will strengthen us in every area of our lives, and be the central fibre of our lives if He is allowed to walk with us.  Through the battles, the storms, and the experiences that affect us negatively. And it’s seriously the real thing…the relationship that never lets us down, the one who never leaves, the promise that never fades or wearies us.

I know one thing.  I’ll be home for Christmas.

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photo credit: Matthew Cachia via photopin cc
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There was time to say goodbye.

photo credit: Debris2008 via photopin cc
photo credit: Debris2008 via photopin cc

Have you ever had a season of emotional turmoil?  Where you knew that emotions were building up on the inside, and all that you wanted to do was to share it, but you were never really able to get to the point of the ‘spilling over’ of your thoughts, your emotions, your world as it stands right now? I

It’s like it gets stuck somewhere deep down, a buried treasure covered over by layers and layers, just waiting for the digging, waiting for the discoverers. It is awaiting the time that all the golden coins, precious stones and buried wealth come spilling out, to enrich someone’s life, apart from your own.

As I write this, the news of the passing of Nelson Mandela has hit, and we have seen a deluge of people come together at a South African soccer stadium to mark this historical milestone. The loss of so great a man is impacting. An event that will leave its mark.  A legacy of mammoth proportions.  But the life that was lived will remain in the hearts of his family forever. Their hearts will be touched because they have loved a great man, a father, grandfather, a friend.

His faith and forgiveness through a Joseph type of existence is an example to our world. He had a will to live and do good through the most horrific of circumstances, a heart that could forgive.

He lead through the scars, most of which the masses will never know of, and yet, his family heard his soul.

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Let me tell you today about a legacy that was left by someone whose funeral was not attended by the ‘greats’ of this world, but by a family who stood united, looking towards another sunrise with hope and faith. They did this because of the constant prayer and focus of one man, who cared for them.

A month ago today I lost this dear friend, my one and only sibling, my brother.

I have not been able to write here or anywhere at all since then, such has been my anguished state of heart. You see, in writing one can bear one’s soul and set free the inner most thoughts that are hyper sensitive and vulnerable, yet able to release another with their testimony.

Have you ever had a season like that?  You want to share, but you’re aching inside so much that you can’t? 

There are times when we’re just not able to allow the plundering of our souls.  It hurts. But then a time comes when we understand that the very act of opening up will bring a richness to us all. It’s an understanding that displaces the inward isolation that can come through storms in our lives. And this sharing then brings healing.  It can open the doors so that others can relate and be revived themselves.

And the healing is what we are all aiming for, because it brings the promise of newness.  And right there, I think I’ve learned something again (does it ever stop?):

No matter what I face in life, Jesus is there to bear my burden as I in turn bare my heart.

And as my heart opens, creaking all the way with the rust and dryness that the storms and the grief can build, He gently coaxes my understanding to a place of comfortable acceptance. And I feel new.

Oh, there are certainly the ‘moments,’ unpredictable, piercing my day like a bolt of lightning out of the blue southern sky. But around me are the faithful ones, the acts of kindness, the empathy of those who understand the treasure hunt that is life. They bring to me the growth and freshness of friendship, love and a new future. It’s held out in their hands like a silver platter, my choice being whether I will take it.

Why is it so hard at these times to reveal? To share? To be transparent?

It was a beautiful home-going that day, just four short weeks ago.  There was the reconciliation of he and his only true love after over twenty years. There was the spending of precious time with those he loved the most. There was time to say goodbye.

Children. Family. Love. Acceptance. Eternity.

I’ve been reading the book of Hebrews ever since, and it stirs my soul about faith. How many of those great heroes of the faith never even  saw what they were believing for, and yet, they kept believing? It is inspiring me to live and walk in truth.

So, I guess this piece today is about never giving up. Even if you don’t see your rainbow in the sky.  Even if you can’t tell which way is up for a season. Even if you are finding it hard to communicate, to share, or to even get in touch with your soul.

Keep believing.

Because all your doubting will never, ever change the truth: He loves, He lives, He longs for you.  Leave regret behind.

This quote from C S Lewis was on the card we printed for my brother’s farewell, “Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are far, far, better things ahead than any we leave behind”. (C S Lewis)

No truer word has touched my own soul. Farewell Mandiba. Your family will never forget.

Farewell my brother. Your family remember, always.

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Rising Above my Situation – Transcendence in Jesus

 

Peace, Woronora Valley

I was shocked into the realisation today.

It’s not that I wasn’t taking notice.  But I was so involved with the everyday caring that I hadn’t seen what was missing.

Ever been pulled up sharp by God Himself?

And all of a sudden He’s in there, reminding you of His magnificence…His presence that transcends everything in your life!

I was at the hospital.  Oh wait.  I haven’t told you about this yet.  I’m in a situation of caring for my very ill and only sibling, my ‘big brother’ who is a man of God.  Loves Jesus! With all his heart and soul.  But now he’s in this situation, only months long now, and finds himself desperate to cry out for the very Presence that heals.  The Presence that guides.  The comforting Presence that transcends. 

"My peace I leave with you...."
“My peace I leave with you….” (John 14:27)

I think that I’m ‘transcending’ when I say a prayer, when I read an inspiring passage, but I learnt something today….When we ‘transcend’ something, we actually RISE ABOVE it….We’re not on the same ‘level’ any more.

“Transcend”:   “be or go beyond the range or limits of (something abstract, typically a conceptual field or division)”   To “surpass” (a person or an achievement).

The dictionary definition doesn’t do it justice, what I saw today.

A man who’s been told his life is dwindling fast away, still holding on to the faith and the confession that is his life…that is Christ.  When the news of the brain tumour hit us all we had the ‘right confession’…rising above what was being declared by a faithless world. Though we still continue to try, the help comes in way that is foreign to us, unusual…transcendent. And we feel inadequate, and we feel lack and pain and frustration…and it gives us something to rise above, again. But those of us who experience the transcendence can soar above. We rise.

He lifted his arm right up in adoration of His Saviour. Jesus, the only one who can do anything about this situation, in reality.  Yes there are doctors, nurses, hospitals and drugs.  And it all helps.  I guess.  But what transcends  it all…what causes us all to rise is the faith, the believing, the knowing the Saviour’s Presence?  What causes our spirit to gush, to speak forth praise and worship when we have lost even the capability to express ourselves in words…

My inspiration

The witnessing of it. As I read him the scriptures…his arm upward along with his face in a blessing that gave me the privilege of belonging…of being a part of, his journey. He spoke out adoration, though he could speak little else. A never ending flood of words, though used a lifetime in other ways, and now selected to support the TRANSCENDING faith that carries the Spirit with him…

I’m supporting.  I’m caring.  I’m believing.  But even now and much more…I’m transcending.  Rising above the storm.  

What an honour.  

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:6
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,”
Ephesians 2:6

 

 

 

 

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IN THE EYE OF THE STORM

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”  C.S. Lewis

SUNRISE WORONORA RIVER

Have you ever been right in the middle of a ‘storm’ and almost viewed what’s happening to you as though you were checking out someone else’s situation?

It’s unfamiliar, strangely exhilarating, and altogether defined in your life, a situation like no other. A flash of summer lightening after an oppressive day of heat, it leaves its mark on memory, though soon no longer visible. The ‘storm’ that you’re going through can be the working of God Himself –  indeed the pain that the storm inevitably brings is often a catalyst for the building blocks of character.

But have you ever been so ‘kept’ in the ‘eye’ of that storm that you felt it was all just a little surreal?

Well, I guess, that’s where I am just now.

Seems I’m on the ‘roller coaster’ ride of my life. Caring for a dear and much loved family member with cancer is like that. I mean, it’s an experience that at once draws out so much adrenalin, as you become the person upon whom is placed such a dependance, yet on the other hand scares you, making you wonder about what the future will dictate for your life and theirs.

Nothing is certain.  Everything is happening too fast. But then everything is happening too slowly.  Outcomes are unknowable; so unclear, so frighteningly unfamiliar and yet, with it comes this solid, etherial confidence that I am safe, contrasting with the natural circumstances. That familiar hand that guides. That voice that calms. That heart that knows. That’s what is making the difference here.

It’s like being in the ‘eye’ of a cyclone. That place where the storm is held at bay. That unique, almost eerie space in time, when the lashing of the seas and the destructiveness of the wind and waves is held….The moments when the sure, surrounding love and peace is exuded and envelopes the soul.  Though the storm still rages around you. Though you know it may yet grow worse.

‘Peace, be still!’.

What supernatural force surrounds me so well that I feel upheld –  though the winds of adversity not only blow, but are currently howling the place down?

It could only be the solid, peaceful presence of One greater than myself. Stealth that expertly invades the fear space. Unannounced but invited.  Surely, skilfully corralling the wild horses of fear that threaten at each change of my situation to turn and trample me…

Calm now.  And with each rise in the intensity of my own  personal tempest, the opposite of the expected. Juxtaposed with the fury. Calling the natural and the supernatural to show their power.

And a knowing which will win.

Every new scenario of terror that unfolds with the days has a plan to take me down.  And every time I turn the corner and my way to peace is naturally blocked, the Supernatural intervenes. Like a rescuer promising my survival in the face of my attacker. He cordons off my enemy and releases His grace into me, throwing me a life line.

And I agree to swim and not sink. There’s a power in that agreement. When I agree with Him who’s in control, I thwart the powerlessness of disagreement.  When I read, repeat, ruminate on the Word of God and agree with Him in it, that’s when the Power comes.

His peace amazes me.   His beauty fills my mind and heart, overcoming this beast that assails, in all its storming power and glory.

I am in the storm’s ‘eye’.

We don’t ask to go through these times of stress and tempest…I mean, who would?  But when we do, we can reach out a hand and a prayer to bring this monster tempest to its knees…to strip it of its power.

‘What if?’, ‘Why me?’ and ‘If only…’  you don’t belong here in the Eye. ‘I trust You’.  ‘I release my heart to you’, and ‘Lead me, Lord’….the language of the peace in the midst of the terror and uncertainty.

Here are some things that I am learning, ever on the potters wheel, even in the midst of this.

THE EYE OF THE STORM IS WHERE I NEED TO LIVE.

– Being tossed around with every wind and wave of tempest in every situation that I am subject to – that’s not where I need to be.  Or indeed where I am called to be by Christ. I can live opposite to what assails me. 

THE EYE OF THE STORM IS WHERE I LEARN THE MOST.

– Not that we pray for adversity, but when it comes, why are we surprised?  Here’s a verse my husband sent me on my phone last week:

 Job 4:3-6……..“In the past you have encouraged many people; you have strengthened those who were weak.  Your words have supported those who were falling;  you encouraged those with shaky knees.  But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart.  You are terrified when it touches you.  Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence?  doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?”

THE EYE OF THE STORM WILL ENVELOPE ME WITH PEACE.

How to release this to Him, when my knuckles are white with just hanging on? Pray, pray and pray. Talking to God – a conversation, not a tirade or a shouting match…I remind myself constantly that God actually loves me! And yet, and yet…the struggle continues.

God’s ‘megaphone’!  Am I listening?  Am I still enough in the eye of the storm to realise that there is a place of peace here?

The question just begs an answer, doesn’t it?  Yet often our answer is the whisper in the midst of our circumstance.

“Speak, for your servant is listening.” (I Sam 3:10)

JAMES CAM. GDNS

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