We have weathered the storms!

Calm following the stormThe storm has passed, and you’re starting to get your land legs back.  You begin to look at the damage and destruction left behind in the storm’s path.  So much becomes visible when you are able to look back. Ways you could have better prepared, ways you might have been able to avoid the storm, and then…out of the corner of your eye…something beautiful appears.

Human nature is to avoid the storm, but what happens when that whirlwind is God’s will? What happens when the worst possible thing that you thought could happen in life, suddenly becomes the best?  Are you willing to accept God’s will in all circumstances?

Be real y’all.  We say that we will accept God’s will, but what we really mean is, “Lord, if it’s good, I’ll take it.  If it’s bad, please don’t heap it upon me.” Now that’s human nature isn’t it?  I mean, who would really be willing to embrace something bad that is supposed to happen?  Y’all, I am the first one to want to dodge any bullet of craziness being shot my way!  However, to be truly like Jesus in our daily lives, we have to be willing to accept the bad with the good.  Can you say ouch?

As I was reading today’s daily devotion, Matthew 26:39 struck me in such a mighty way.  Jesus knew that He was to be crucified the next day.  Can you even begin to imagine what it was like for Him to know His fate?  Y’all, I’d be packing my bags and heading for the hills!  Not Jesus.  No.  Here He was, flesh and blood like you and me. He knew His fate, and anticipated the horrific pain that He would have to endure. Can you imagine knowing that you would have to hang on a cross until your body succumbed to itself?

Jesus didn’t start packing His bags, and head for the hills.  No.  Jesus knew what was ahead for Him.  He anticipated the pain that would accompany His slow death, and He didn’t run away.  Rather, He ran to His Father in heaven as He fell down before Him in prayer.  Jesus knew that Father God could stop the crucifixion from happening.  Our God is Mighty, He is powerful, and His power has no limitations. Certainly saving Jesus from crucifixion was within His power, but it was not within His plan.

His plan…do you ever stop to think about that part of the storms that you endure? Do you ever stop trying to out run the storm, and just fall down on your face before God in prayer. Jesus begged the Lord to stop this painful death from happening. That begging part, I’m pretty good about y’all.  How about you?  The part I’m not so hot with is what Jesus did next. Jesus told God that He would accept the fate if it was God’s plan.

Accepting God’s plan, means we are accepting His will.  It also means that we acknowledge that God has a purpose for our storm, and that when the dust settles, we will see something beautiful revealed.  After the last several months of my life, trying to hold on for dear life as the storms seemed to try to take me with them…I’ve seen beauty revealed.  Beauty I would have missed if God has been willing to accommodate my cries to save me from the all that was happening.  I found peace, growth, beauty, and tremendous joy after dealing with years of emotional abuse and finally forgiving.  I’ve found encouragement and purpose in helping support other women dealing with chronic pain and illness.  In dealing with Dad’s declining health, and helping to guide my mother I’ve been able to help my mother deepen her relationship with God in a way I’ve never before witnessed.  I’ve deepened my relationship with God beyond what I ever expected.  All because, while I prayed for God to take the storm away…He instead let me experience it all, and carried me  safely through.

Dear sister, I know you’ve faced challenges recently too. So many of you have shared your stories of your wounds and scars, and the experience that led to them. But, by God not allowing “the cup to pass” , and by making them part of His will for our lives, God has allowed us to both weather the storms, and to see beauty following them.

We have weathered the stormsYes!  We have weathered those storms!  Dear sister, you are here!  You are reading this at this moment in time.  You have survived all that God has brought you to, because you allowed Him to bring you through!  Now, did y’all trust Him like Jesus…without kicking and screaming and throwing fits.  Well, maybe…maybe not. I know I didn’t.  I prayed my prayers of frustration, I called my friends frazzled and wondering why me.  I cried a boatload of tears, but I’m here.   You dear sister are here!  You are on the other side of that storm.  You lived to tell about it.  All because God’s will intended for you to survive.

Jesus died on the cross because God’s plan was greater than the suffering.  God’s will was salvation for all of us.  Jesus abiding by God’s will, and honoring it…knowing it was far greater than He could ever imagine led to our salvation.  Jesus’s death on that cross led to your life today!  His death led to our eternal life, and that dear sister is greater than any storm!  I’m here, blessed beyond measure by what work He has done in my life…not because He had to, but because He desired to. God had the will to carry me through.  He had the will to sacrifice is only Son.  He had the will to raise Him from the dead.  He had the will to bring you through that storm.  Do you have the will to trust Him?

Dear sister, trusting our God in the storms doesn’t mean that we will never have the desire to pack our bags and head for the hills.  Trusting Him means that we overcome the desire to run away, and instead run to God.  Will you run to Him dear sister?  Will you run to Him?

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