Life Change on the Other Side of a Storm — Guest Post

No one enjoys hard lessons, and yet, they seem to be my most certain routes to growth. In fact, my greatest healing, steps toward freedom, and perspective shifts have occurred during my most challenging and uncertain periods. I suspect most of us could say the same. When the false securities we cling to turn shaky, we’re invited to plant my feet in the only One who’s steady and sure. As my guest today shares in the post below, sometimes destructive storms can have beautiful results.

The 2am Wake Up Call

By Meredith Kendall

It took a major storm for God to rightly shift my focus and priorities. It’d been raining all day and wasn’t supposed to let up anytime soon. The news reports indicated that the worst of the storm, including the threat of tornadoes, would hit around 2am. We knew a good night’s sleep wasn’t in our future primarily because we  had a little stream in our backyard. That night, that creekbed turned into a raging sea. 

The water remained inside its banks, but was rushing so rapidly that nothing in its way had a chance of survival. Once satisfied it would be okay, we set the alarm for 2am. But I felt unsettled, so I went upstairs, grabbed all three girls, put their sleeping bags on the floor in the family room, and kissed them goodnight.

I woke with a startle. The light on the alarm clock was flashing. The power had gone out. My cell phone read 2am. rain seen through the window on a dark, stormy nightWanting to check on things, I rolled over, put my feet on the floor. “Squish.” My toes hit soaked carpet. All I thought of was my girls laying in a pool of water. Yelling at my husband to wake up, I rushed to the family room to get to the girls. They were safe. The water reached just to the edge of their sleeping bags.

I’m not sure where my sense came from, but I didn’t attempt to open the door. Instead I went upstairs to the landing. Knowing water inside meant the creek had crested, I grabbed the keys to our vehicles and bolted outside.  As I backed the last automobile to safety, the water let loose and soon stood three feet against the back of the house.

Standing in the rain, I started to calculate all the damage we’d accrue. When the storm was done, I’d be left picking up the pieces.

Yes, you read this right. I made this mess all about me. My loss. My inconvenience. My inability to comprehend why God had allowed this to happen to me. Then I remembered a verse I’d memorized recently during a financial class.

Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (ESV).

This forced me to ask, who and what was I serving? I may have told you God, but my lifestyle and actions indicated otherwise.

What if you were to honestly answer the same question?

If God took everything away from you, would you still serve Him? What can you do today to

center your heart more deeply in Him?

Get to Know Meredith! 

Meredith Kendall is a change agent, driven by her God-given passion to equip struggling families to achieve their unique God-given potential.

As a nationally recognized sales leader, Meredith Kendall learned how to build bridges and make connections with the heart of what people need. God called her to co-found Advancing the Gospel which serves those who are often forgotten. Today she uses her gifting’s to help people understand the root causes of their struggles and find freedom through Christ.

Her upcoming book My GiGi’s House: Finding Hope will be released October 2019. Visit her online at www.the180program.org and her personal website www.meredithsagekendall.com

In the Storms of Your Life by Lynn Squire

Today’s post comes to us from Lynn Squire, author of Joab’s Fire. Lynn is an avid writer who artistically intertwines Biblical truth with colorful narrative. Her childhood farm life, coupled with her equestrian experiences, brings authenticity and heart to her stories. Lynn actively serves her church through her writing in and in other ministries and is currently the president of the American Christian Fiction Writers San Francisco Bay Area Chapter in California, where she resides with her husband and three children. You can find out more about her and her writing at the following websites:

http://www.PresentingBiblicalTruths.com
http://faithfictionfunandfanciful.blogspot.com/
http://www.lynnsquire.com

In the Storms of Your Life
By Lynn Squire

In the storms of your life, are you hoping for God’s mercy?

Psalm 33:18-19 says:

“Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine.”

Are you seeking God as a treasure hunter seeks the greatest treasure? If you are, you’ll find Him.

Many seek comfort. Many seek favors. Many believe that if they decide to become a Christian they will find these. Those who come to Christ seeking comfort will find it.

However, many who think God can be manipulated to provide for their wants will be disappointed. These, like the wheat that sprang forth without root, will wither and die.

What do you fear more? The loss of your comforts? The loss of man’s praise? Or God?

“Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in His mercy;”

If you claim to be a Christian, are you placing your hope in His mercy? To do that you first have to acknowledge that you need His mercy. Do you? Do you understand your spiritual state?

A trial comes your way. You think, “God, Why are you doing this?”

You do not receive an answer.

Do you give up on Him? Or do you put your hope on His mercy and acknowledge that He promises to keep you alive, even in famine, for example. That doesn’t mean that He keeps you from being touched by it.

“Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20

How we approach our troubles reflects our trust in the Lord. It reflects our faith. When we are faced with disaster, yet praise God and seek His provision—seeking for His hand in the storm—we will find it.

We can wait for Him. He will help us…are you willing to trust Him?

“For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.” Psalm 33:21
How do you rejoice in trials?

1. Pass the trials to Him. Tell God about it.

2. Ask Him to supply His comfort through the Comforter.

3. Remember the eternal salvation He brought you through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

4. Remember His great mercies. We see His mercy when we acknowledge we don’t get what we deserved.

5. Recall His many promises He’s given us in Scripture and meditate on them.

6. Sing to Him. Sing songs of praise. Sing songs that focus on what He has done for you, not what you do for Him or on how hard life is.

7. Rehearse to others every little blessing God has given you, from the food you’ve received to the miracles He’s performed.

“Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” Psalm 33:22

 

Blessings From the Top of the Tree by Delia Latham

Today a dear friend and sister in Christ is here to share a devotional from her book, Morning Rendezvous.

Blessings from the Top of the Tree by Delia Latham

Pro. 10:6a (KJV)
Blessings are upon the head of the just;

It was a humdinger of a windstorm—unusually rough for California, where we lived at the time. Not anything approaching tornado severity, but enough to knock down a few trees, tear off a bunch of roof tiles and stir up some pretty nasty allergies.

Given my husband’s severe lung problems, high winds have become something to dread. They often blow in a ton of allergens, bringing on a week or so of severe discomfort. Needless to say, we were more than a bit unhappy about the storm.

A couple of days later, Aunt Vera dropped by our place, her arms piled high with three plastic grocery bags. All of them were stuffed full of pecans from her trees.

“They were all over my yard, after that wind the other night,” she announced. “I had to do something with them, and I know how Johnny loves pecan pies.”

All of the nuts within her reach had been harvested prior to the storm. These nuts came from the upper branches, the ones she couldn’t get to. “I guess they would have stayed up there until they rotted without that storm,” she said, with a wry little shake of her head.

After our sweet visitor left, I looked at those three bags of snacking nuts—three bags stuffed full of potential pies and other delectable desserts—and I saw them differently. They were the fruits of the storm—blessings from the top of the tree. Good things beyond our reach.

And God has a way of shaking them loose and raining them down all around us!

Since then, I try to remember to look at the storms of life through less jaded eyes, as well. During the blizzard, it’s hard to see anything but toppled trees and destruction to property. It’s difficult to look past the blowing garbage and allergic reactions.

While the wind blows, it’s almost impossible to remember that after the storm, God always sends a rainbow. After the winds, we reap the sweet-smelling, clean air and sunshine.

After He tries us, He showers us with good things…things previously out of our grasp.

We must learn to hold tight to God and just survive the storm. Because when it’s over, we get the blessings from the top of the tree!

Oh, God, how many times have You blessed me, and I failed to recognize the blessing? Please forgive my blindness and open my eyes to Your wondrous gifts. I want to see You…not only in the blessings that come after, but in the storm itself. Open my spiritual eyes to the things I should see. And Lord, thank You for all those good things You rain down on me from the top of the tree! Amen

 Morning Rendezvous is not strictly a book of devotion. It’s devotions and random inspirational thoughts and musings. It’s made up of my devotions and inspirational posts that are scattered all over the internet. I gathered up my favorites and put them into book format because I know so many people who never touch a computer, but I hope they’d be blessed by some of the thoughts God blessed me with.~Delia
 

Delia was born and raised in a place called Weedpatch, Delia Latham moved from California to Oklahoma in 2008, making her a self-proclaimed California Okie. She loves to read and write in her simple country home, and gets a kick out of watching her husband play Farmer John. The author enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. She loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her through her website or send an e-mail to delia AT delialatham DOT net.

Find out more about this author at www.delialatham.net.

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