'Weathering' the storms means 'passing through safely'.
I got to thinking about the Apostle Paul and all that he went through:
~Persecuted in Antioch
~Stoned and left for dead in Lystra
~Assaulted in Iconicum
~Beaten and jailed in Phillipi
~Attacked by a crowd in Thessalonika
~Pursued by Beareans
~Despised in Athens
~Blasphemed in Corinth
~Bound by chains in Jerusalem
~Imprisoned and martyred in Rome
'Comfort Comparison' is a thought that came to me while I was in the midst of radiation treatment for vocal chord cancer. Compared to all that Paul went through, my difficulties were/are small.
~Was in prison without his friends
~Had no coat during the winter
~Went to court without any friends
~Endured poverty without any aid
He still had peace that passed all understanding.
He found that God's Grace was sufficient for each and every circumstance.
We (like Paul) should live so close to the Lord that in life (and in death) we can have the peace that he experienced. One of his last trials before his final imprisonment, was the shipwreck on the Mediterranean Sea. He said to the seasoned sailors....
"Sirs, be of good cheer for I believe it will turn out just like God said it would."
Paul was the same as saying to them "Read the Book".
He had experienced the presence and the power of God.
Because of this, Paul had a philosophy similar to:
~Worry about NO thing
~Pray about EVERY thing
~Be thankful in the midst of ANY thing
FAITH to Paul (and should be to us) is:
F = For
A = All
I = I
T = Trust
H = Him
John 3:16 is a favorite Scripture for being saved in the initial experience.
My favorite Scripture after John 3:16 is Phil. 3:10-12.
The amplified version helps to unravel the meaning:
"I am determined to know Christ and to become more intimately acquainted with Him and the wonders of His person more clearly. I want to know (and experience) the power overflowing from His Resurrection and be willing to suffer for Him....
even unto death. I want to lay hold of all that Christ laid hold of, for me."
Paul's theme could actually be 'Union with Christ".
~What God claims, I yield.
~What I yield, He accepts.
~What He accepts, He fills.
~What He fills, He uses.
~What He uses, He blesses.
Likewise we must realize that Christ is alive and can live in and through us via The Holy Spirit.
"The Power within us is greater than any Power in the world." (I John 4:4)
Our State and especially our Community suffered a great 'storm' this week as one of our own was killed by an IED in Afghanistan.
When the body of U. S. Army 1st Lt. David Timothy Wright II landed in OKC, there were hundreds of cars, Police cars, State Troopers and motorcycles in a caravan that accompanied him to the funeral home here in Norman. Hundreds of others stood at attention, held American flags and saluted as the caravan passed by Moore High School.
Timmy ran track, played football and graduated from Moore HS, so students were
dismissed in order for them to pay tribute to Timmy as the caravan passed by.
Following High School, Timmy was on the Oklahoma University track team, getting his degree in Sociology/Criminology as he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his Dad who is a Lt. with the Moore Police Dept. Timmy's Mother works @ Norman Regional Hospital, so there were many fellow workers who joined in the tribute to Timmy.
After joining the Army, Timmy rec'd the Army Achievement Award and was designated 'Soldier of the Cycle' for finishing at the top of his basic training class.
When our youngest son Kyle played football @ Noble High School, one of his buddies on the team was Timmy's Dad, Tim Wright. Kyle talked about how they used to go over to Tim's house and eat peanut butter sandwiches to get some strength for football practice.
Timmy's parents rec'd a letter from him 2 days after his death. In it Timmy's spirit came through, full of life and not of fear nor turmoil as he said, "The people of Afghanistan deserve a better existence and hopefully my efforts in some small way will provide that for them." He had only been there since July~
Timmy's death is tragic enough, but he was Tim and Michele's only child.
At his Memorial Service yesterday, his Pastor quoted a posting about Timmy on Facebook "What Timmy lost in longevity, he made up for in intensity during his 26 yrs. on earth."
It always grieves me when I read an obituary and there is no mention of that person's relationship to the Lord...nor to His Church. That was not the case with Timmy and his parents.
Today's paper 'Weathering the Storms of Life' will hopefully help each of us.
It's not "if" the storms will come....it's "when" they come as there WILL be storms...
in everyone's life!
The time to prepare for those storms is NOW....not after they hit.
I'm sure the only thing that is carrying Tim and Michele through this terrible 'storm' is their Faith. Please pray for them.....as well as the families of all of our Troops.
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