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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Empty Nest Syndrome

 

Bald Eagle in flight. http://photopin.com/
Bald Eagle in flight.
http://photopin.com

I love flying!

I couldn’t help but feel impressed by the takeoff.  I have a peculiar, indeed, somewhat unusual, fascination about aircraft…the domestic, not the war type. Flying holds a place in my heart and it’s in this space I can create better, rest pretty well and dream and think more prolifically than most places on Earth.

Ever since I flew as a flight attendant with Qantas in and out of Australia, I have enjoyed the times that I am able to sit and experience the beauty of flight. The escape into the skies of these mere mortal bodies as we partake, albeit briefly, of the joy of seeing the Earth from God’s airspace is a constant charge… an adrenalin rush to me! Perhaps I should have been an astronaut. Or a bird of flight!

Breaking News!

As the captain interrupts my train of thought with his usual informative patter via the PA, we quickly cover the miles of our journey towards Dallas.  Today we stop briefly there, then on towards Los Angeles.  This mammoth day marks the close of our trip to the USA.  I turn my thoughts to home, and family.  Thoughts of our grown up kids there.  My little black dog, dear thing.  Our house in the most beautiful valley in the world.

And then comes the jolt as I remember that home will not be the same anymore.  Ever. It will be in some ways empty, because the last one of our kids who has just recently ‘flown the nest’ in order to begin expanding her world, has left.   

She has settled , for who knows how long, in the great world city of Los Angeles.

No, home won’t be the same now. 

I can hardly allow myself to entertain the thoughts that want to crowd and crumble my heart.  The empty bedroom; her precious little childhood things that sit gathered and packed in a corner.

I wasn’t there when she left the nest.  Her father and I were away on this trip.  So for us, goodbye comes in the next couple of days when we leave Los Angeles for Sydney.

I quickly move on, not dwelling on the unnecessary emotion that this goodbye promises to bring.

We were in Jacksonville last night. On our way to the airport this morning our driver spoke about, among other things (she was quite the talker) the local Florida bird-life.  We got onto the subject of the American national emblem, the bald eagle. These days in that state, the magnificent and nationally acclaimed species is returning.  Apparently they build their nests high up in the mobile phone towers and live, confident and strong, in a place where they weren’t supposed to be, but now occupy as their own. That place is where their perspective is all encompassing.  Their view one that royalty in the animal kingdom are privy to alone.   It’s a vantage point,  brilliantly positioned for them to educate their babies in the art form for which they are famous.  And for which those babies were created. 

Bald Eagle Nest.  Photopin.com
Bald Eagle Nest.
Photopin.com

Their keen eye and purpose combine as they hunt from a great height and feed those babes until one day, they will drop them out of the nest.  The little ones will learn how to fly. It’s called survival. Their hearts will be encouraged as they at first panic at the speed and precarious, random nature of their initial solo flight.  That’s the one when Mama Eagle literally turfs them out of the nest.  I imagine they struggle to overcome their surprise, but quickly gather all that they have been created to employ, as they flap those great but novice wings and experience God’s breeze and lifting currents in flight.

And before long, baby eagle is able to be seen high in the sky, doing what God has created it to do.  Soaring.  Being magnificent.

Mother eagle…..  Do you feel like I do when you watch that?

The need to teach and then to let go?  The fact that you have educated your babies to fly and then they actually take you at your word and do it? And before long there is no real need for you to be there.  They have learned the path of life.  They have become ‘grown up’. They turn their heads towards the future.

The ‘Empty Nest’….it’s  an expression, a naming of the empty-hearted feeling that every other Mama knows.  Every mother who has educated, trained, loved and encouraged her babies to fly…   As she champions her offspring, remembering their birth and childhood ways, she watches on, ever protective and ready to swoop in and rescue.

We are on the approach to Dallas.  Next top Los Angeles.  Four days to see my baby angel.  Then I must become Mother Eagle. 

Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

31 but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint. [1]

 

 

 

 


[1] The New International Version. 2011 (Is 40:31). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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TRUST and my GPS!

 

IPHONE MAPS

The GPS is recalculating…..It’s the little moving dots that are so annoying….C’mon!  C’mon!

The diagram of the little car on the screen is way off course!

Because we are navigating our way across New York City in a rental car, we need help.How to trust this unseen person, this voice that knows all?

Giving up control

Trust. It’s not easy when you are in unfamiliar territory. Have you ever felt that you are in a place where you feel conscious of the need to hurry and put some distance between you and your current position? Some of life’s tracks can take you there.  It feels as though…’the quicker I get through this, the better the future will be…I need to learn something and move on!’

But trusting is, surely, not natural 

We may be sure of our destination, but which pathway, street, highway or freeway do we use to get there?  That’s up to this ‘higher power’, this indispensable GPS system that apparently relies on something way up in the sky to direct us safely to our resting place for the night. 

What DID we do before we had those all-knowing, all-powerful satellites in space? 

We are left with time to think. The traffic lights turn red and bring a reprieve, pausing us for a moment on our journey through a busy Brooklyn neighbourhood. “This route is saving you five minutes traffic delay time”

I am tempted to say:  ‘thank you’ out loud. Doesn’t feel like we are saving time!

A necessary journey

Where I am now is sometimes not where I want to be.  But I know that I need to pass through this place, in order to get to the ‘other side’.  We may traverse the unknown, often bringing with us into our present situation some untapped emotions from before.  They can jump out at us, ambush-style, as we become embroiled in the jungle of opinion and options, and just the everyday living that we all do.

Why is it that confusion can reign when we think we know best?.  That Patience can wear thin when we are in a hurry to ‘get somewhere’…

The satellite guides us from the best possible perspective.   Still, the fears surface.  Deal with them, or fail!  And all the while a glance out of the window presents the unfamiliar.  Getting lost is never the goal, but it does happen.  Even using a GPS!

A crowd of little kids, shepherded across the road crossing in front of us by a caring but harried teacher, reminds me of home. 

My family.  Out of sight, but never out of mind.

I miss those eyes, those turns of phrase that are foreign here.

Suppress the choking tears as they rise. The musical laughter in my head crescendos and then is silenced as the voice kicks in once again….

“Keep right. Merge left … now.”

Do as you’re told – it’s for the best!

And then.  The road through dark, unfamiliar streets is finished and we face the long, straight highway once again.  It unfolds before us.  It’s obvious.

Roomy.  Inviting us to fly.

Putting the foot down on the accelerator brings exhilaration.  Confidence.  We can settle now.  The GPS works its magic and we are in the hands of the satellite once again.  The journey, now a pleasure, brings the hope of what’s ahead into view.

We can almost feel that it’s nearing journey’s end.   The worst is behind.   We navigate the bridge, and notice green waters below, way, way below.

It’s not how it was.  We are nearly there.

Being directed from Above

Life’s journey is taking us somewhere.  But being lost, being under-confident and sometimes even untrusting, is common to most.

What are you using as your GPS?  A man made-sense of things?   Or are you God directed? Using the Heavenly perspective – that “guidance system” that leads and directs from the ‘quiet centre’ of your soul. One that communicates with a super-natural Help 

It’s as easy as ‘tapping in’ right now. 

Proverbs 20:24 (NLT)

“How can we understand the road we travel?

It is the Lord who directs our steps”.

 

 

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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.

medium_3135845243
photo credit: Matthew Cachia via photopin cc
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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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