Reading Reflecting Responding
Summary Reflection Prayer
God’s Word Walking it Out
Context: Psalm 46
Psalm 46: 1-3
Psalm 46: 9-10
“He makes wars to cease throughout the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the shields in the fire.”
Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted over the earth.” Psalm 46:9-10
The Threatening Storm
It was four days prior to the onslaught of hurricane Ian when I received a surprising call from my friend. She wanted to know if the tropical storm that was brewing in the Caribbean turned into a hurricane, could she and her husband shelter with us. I didn’t have a clue there was any threat of a tropical storm increasing its strength and possibly making landfall in Florida by Wednesday. I just didn’t take it seriously. We’ve been in hurricanes before, and God’s grace was always there as we prayed. Hurricane Irma was the hurricane where God again proved His faithfulness and we saw Him work. There were so many blessings in the aftermath. So, I just wasn’t concerned, and after all, it was too far out to predict. But I assured her she would certainly be welcomed to shelter with us, in any event.
At the same time, there was a storm of another form brewing in my home and with my spirit, all-out spiritual warfare that was attacking my family and faith. I took shelter and was comforted, as I read and listened to God’s promise of protection in Psalm 46, knowing as I waited in faith, He would hold up His arm when He was ready and put an end to it.
So as the crisis ensued, I pressed in more and more in prayer. And each time the Lord encouraged me to just move forward and He would take care of the rest. Wait on Him, and see His reward.
A year earlier I experienced simultaneously three things; illness from Covid, condemnation from the accuser, and someone sending me Satanic messages on my blog. But God intervened with only one thing, reminding me of His past faithfulness I was left with a choice:
“Would I Trust His Word ?”
So Romans 8:1, Isaiah 54:16-17, and Romans 8:31 got me up off my trembling knees, and as I sang and danced to the song God gave me, I felt empowered and knew He was always there for me as I waited upon His Word and His Strength.
( Isaiah 64:4, Isaiah 40: 30-31)
So it was, His Word remained the Same, “Be Still and Know I am God”, I am in control and believe I am sovereign over everything.
One night before Ian hit, while I was still combating emotional and fearful issues, I heard a small still voice, say, ” Believe I am for you.” That was it! I knew it was the Lord because it allligned with His Word:
“If God is for us who can be against us?” and “Neither principalities nor powers nor anything can separate us from His Great Love. (Romans 8:31-39)
I had a choice to continue to doubt and fear or believe Him. I decided to believe Him.
Blessed to be a Blessing
Hurricane Ian hit us with powerful winds of more than 120 mph and took down two of our coconut trees and our pool cage; We prayed for the Lord to move it away but He allowed it to stay. So, therefore, I knew God had a reason. We learned our son, Mike, and daughter, Windy, and their families in the Cape Coral area were ok, and the flood in the storm surge which rose high sweeping into their neighborhoods did some damage to my son’s garage air conditioner and hot water heater, but completely missed my daughter’s as it moved up just inches from both of their ground floors. Their families became blessings to their neighbors as my son,his wife, and our grandson, Tyler, went throughout the neighborhood removing debris from their neighbor’s flooded homes. And my daughter provided shelter for her neighbor as their flooded home became uninhabitable. ( Luke 10:27)
The aftermath brought the opportunity for us to receive God’s love, as so many sent us messages of their prayers and concerns. We cleaned up our yard as best we could but the pool cage and trees that were down we had to leave. We were left with no place to go and as I woke up the second morning without power, water, internet, and cell phone access, I felt an overwhelming despondency, and helplessness not knowing what to do next.
So I prayed,
“Lord, I don’t know what to do, Jesus help us!”
In the immediate aftermath, we were unable to communicate with our family as cell phone towers were damaged. It was chaos as many places closed, trees and power lines were down and long lines to gas pumps arose. The traffic lights were out, so maneuvering to where we needed to go imposed uncertain risks.
As my daughter-in-law, Jelena described it, it was like a war zone. At times we would get calls and texts, but we were unable to respond. Then I prayed somehow my son would show up. As he walked through the only door accessible because the storm shutters were still up, I knew the Lord was answering my prayer. I had learned when faced with a situation beyond my control or efforts to fix, to call on the Lord- JESUS, HELP! There is power in the Name of Jesus and He comes always to rescue and save. (Psalm 120:1)
When my son, Mike assessed our situation he made a call to my husband’s sister, Susie in Ft. Lauderdale. She and her husband, Mark have a home with an attached apartment so we were invited to stay. In fact, my son, Mike, insisted we go. One of the reasons was the fact that my husband Richard, had a leg injury and was limited in what he could do.
With all Mike was handling to restore his home and help others with theirs, we were a liability, if we remained. After my grandson emptied our refrigerator, and we packed what we could, we hit the road, along with my granddaughter, Brandi, and great-granddaughter, Evelyn. At the intersection leaving our neighborhood, the road was block with cars going in different directions, but suddenly, a young man immerged from his car in front of us to guide us out so we could get around the chaos, I knew this was the Lord’s assurance.
We prayed for safety and the ability to continue onto I-75 to Florida’s East Coast. Traffic crawled for a while and we thought it might be the same when we approached the interstate, but instead, traffic was moving like it normally does. So we arrived at their home, a secluded place, with much more than water, power, and cell phone access, we arrived to our family’s open arms with God’s mercy, and grace.
Like many, my lifestyle is full of distractions which although not bad, can mislead and direct me away from doing God’s will. With electrical power and no internet, cell phone not operating, water not running, and no place to go, it got my attention concerning His priorities, and I was learning once more, what is really important. God took away but gave back through the love and help of our family and friends, we were reminded we can trust in His sovereignty and grace with the knowledge He is always in control.
In calamity, there is always the opportunity to see God work in subtle and miraculous ways. What I have learned in these storms is like the theme in “The Grinch that Stole Christmas”, that nothing can steal my hope and faith in a loving and merciful God. If we focus on Him instead of our circumstances and ignore the enemy’s fear tactics, we see glimpses of His beauty, and Sovereignty and realize He is absolutely in control. What we must control is the temptation to focus on the calamity rather than on His faithfulness and unconditional love.
“Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”
Habakkuk 3: 17-18
The enemy never lets a crisis go to waste without the opportunity to point his little finger. But if you are in Christ, Jesus’ shed blood covers it all, and whether it’s His discipline or testing of faith, He has promised He will work it all out for your good, and others according to His plan. (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11)
Jesus Stops the Storm
The storm was raging around them as they sat in their fishing boat. There lay the Lord, sleeping and at rest until His disciples woke Him suddenly, shouting in desperation, asking: “Don’t you care that we are perishing?” So Jesus got up immediately and stilled their hearts and stopped the storm, and then they understood, God is sovereign and is always in control, always. Matthew 8:23-27