Due to La Moyne's release last night from the hospital (where her extreme weakness was diagnosed as Diabetes) I thought at first that maybe we should skip a week. But she encouraged me to NOT miss a week, so I'm using some thoughts from a few yrs. ago.
It's been a terrible year of storms, with numerous hurricanes, earthquakes/floods in Asis, as well as storms in other areas of our world.
While we were pastoring in Kona, Hawaii, I came to the Mainland for a Convention and La Moyne was at home in Kona. She heard the tsunami siren, so she went to the dictionary to find out just 'what' a tsunami was. She did not realize that the word 'tsunami' starts with a 't', so she failed in that attempt and finally went to a store to ask a 'local' what a tsunami was.
Kona Baptist Church and parsonage are located about 1500' up the mountain from the ocean so there was no danger there, however several people came to the church, seeking higher refuge. That tsunami never came, but at least La Moyne learned about them and 'what to do' should there be another warning.
We laughed later about her trying to find the word in the dictionary....
but we all need to know what to do when storms come!
Storms are no laughing matter, as we who live in Oklahoma (known as 'Tornado Alley')
know from experiencing tornadoes!
In fact, the tornado sirens went off at noon today here as they do each month, to keep them in working order and to help keep people alert.
Recently I heard a quote that is important:
"Don't tell God how big your storms are...tell your storms how big your God is!
"You prepare for the storms BEFORE they come"....then remember
"Who is in the Boat of Life with you!"
The disciples on the Sea of Galilee forgot about Jesus and did not apply faith to the situation. Big storms are rough, but a big God is capable of helping us face big storms.
I love Paul's response in Acts 27:25:
In the midst of the terrible storm at sea, being taken prisoner to Rome....
"Sirs, be of good cheer, for I believe God that it will turn out just like God said it would!" And they were all safe to shore!
Abraham also, said: "What God has promised, He is able to perform." (Romans 4:21)
Billy Graham's daughter, Ann Graham Lutz wrote in the 1994 Decision Magazine:
Five Things A Storm Cannot Destroy (Mark 6:45-52)
1) You have God's purpose (vs. 45)
2) You have God answering prayer (vs. 46)
3) You have God's presence (vs. 47-48)
4) You have God's peace (vs. 48-50)
5) You have God's power (vs. 51-52)
She further said:
"When the storms come, don't look back...or around...or ahead!
Look up and ask God to give you a fresh vision.
Then just reach out to someone else by giving them Jesus!"
Sometime back, I did a study of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Joshua 3: 5-17 describes the preparation necessary for crossing the Jordan which was done under the leadership of Joshua.
1) Verse 5:
They sanctified themselves (actually allowed God to sanctify).
Prepare for your storms by realization of God and readiness to do His Will.
2) Verse 6:
The covenant (Word of God) was to go before them.
This is a MUST in all of our lives!
3) Verses 7 and 10:
They realized the Presence of God.
He had been with them all the way from Egypt and He would not forsake them now! Neither will He forsake YOU! (Heb. 13:5-8)
4) Verse 9:
They heard the Word of God through Joshua.
We prepare through God's Word on our own and from God-anointed messengers.
5) Verse 14:
They moved by faith. Let us be sure to make God the object of OUR faith!
6) Verses 15-17:
They experienced the miracles of God.
Jeremiah 12:5 asks the question that is pertinent to us all:
"If you have run with mere men and they have wearied you, how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, you have trusted and grown weary, what will you do in the swelling of the Jordan?"
Since 1992, I have been 'clean' from cancer of the vocal chords, following 32 radiation treatments. This was a very difficult storm in my life, as I had been preaching for 50 years and the thought of possibly losing my voice, was quite traumatic!
I was struck with the use of the word 'clean over Jordan' (vs.17)
When God does a miracle, it is COMPLETE! Amen!!
When our son Kevin was a Jr. in High School, he was injured in a basketball game.
At the ER, the Dr. found a large tumor in Kevin's fibula and there was much concern that it might be malignant. After a 2nd opinion, surgery was done to remove not only the 5" tumor, but also the fibula.
During the agonizing hours/days while waiting on the biopsy report, this poem was given to us by a dear friend. It has meant so much to us throughout the years as we faced other storms in our life.
"MY FATHER'S WAY"
My Father's way may twist and turn
My heart may throb and ache.
But in my soul, I'm glad to know
He maketh no mistake.
My cherished plans may go astray,
My hope may fade away....
But still I trust the Lord to lead
For my Father knows the way.
There is much now I cannot see
My eye is still so dim....
But come what may, I still can trust
And leave it all to Him.
For by and by, the mist will lift
And darkness turn to day.
Then looking back.....we'll praise His Name,
Who led us all the way!
Praise God, the tumor was NOT malignant! While Kevin was a teenager at Falls Creek Baptist Encampment, he felt that the Lord was calling him into Law Enforcement, but after the surgery, there was concern as to whether he could pass the physicals. After MANY prayers (and diligent rehab on Kevin's part), he passed all of the physical exams.
He served for 2 yrs. as a Courtesy Patrolman, then became an Oklahoma State Trooper and just this past year, retired after serving 29 yrs. in that capacity.
How we praise God for that answered prayer!
So, fellow traveler, God's Word to you is:
1) GRASP GOD FIRMLY~
How can I slip through His fingers, for I am one of His fingers! (John 10:28)
2) TRUST GOD WITHOUT WAVERING~
3) LEAVE ALL ISSUES WITH HIM~
Instead of asking so many questions, claim all the promises!
4) DRAW FROM GOD'S STRENGTH TO BE MADE PERFECT~(complete and mature)
So whether it is the Jordan River of Life or the Jordan River of Death....
God is sufficient to take us through...and over.
Jesus, by His Word and His Spirit, is with us ALL the way and He will greet us on the other shore! Amen and Amen!!
As you can imagine with this latest 'health challenge' in our life, these words have great meaning for us and our family right now.
We're praying that this writing will help you as well.
Thank you SO much Travis and La Moyne for another Spirit filled article. I am grabbing ahold of God for all I am worth and trusting Him to lead the way. After all He is the way. My prayers are with both of you as well. Love to you both, your friend, Sharon