Storm Watch!

“And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:37 KJV  

Trials and tribulations come with life, that’s just part of living.  Various circumstances, disappointments and downright disasters can move in on us when we least expect it. Like a weather front that quickly blows in, life’s surprises can knock us off-balance.

We find the strength to get up and get through when we have faith in Who lies beyond our grey skies.

Our Son can dry up the rains. Our Son can displace the fog. He breaks through our clouds and illuminates the dark.

When it looks like our trials are never-ending, our Son is ever-present!

And just as our God is always there, our storms won’t always remain. Storm systems move. They can not last for very long. Even those that loom on the horizon aren’t always what they seem.

Predicted rain may fail to fall. Potential storms become false alarms. Inclement weather may fizzle without warning.

When we trust in Him, dark clouds don’t steal our peace and joy. 

With God, we can not only weather our storms but grow because of them.




“The LORD [is] near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.” Psalms 34:18 NKJV

Yesterday we experienced very high winds where I live. Thankfully, we didn’t experience the deadly tornadoes our neighboring states endured. These pictures were taken in my yard. This pear tree was severely broken. Its gaping wound is obvious. Unlike this tree, we don’t always display our wounds. Like the tree, the harsh winds of life can potentially break us away from our Source and we too can fall away. brokenbldins1

The fallen limb is wasting no time showing signs of decay. Its newly lush leaves are quickly dying. The same thing happens to us when we are pulled away from God. Without God, we can occupy space but not truly live. The limb dies when removed from the “body.” The same thing happens to us when we allow storms and winds to remove us from the body of Christ.

Sometimes we remove ourselves from God because of hurt inflicted by others. For many, it may be depression or other illnesses that leave them feeling ostracized and alone. Some people feel so overwhelmed that instead of running toward God for deliverance, fear or guilt sends them in the opposite direction.

This limb landed on top of my roses. They are crushed beneath its heavy weight. While this limb is no longer receiving sustenance from the tree, it is crushing the life and beauty that lies beneath it. Broken people can do that too.

Many broken people crush the hopes and dreams of others. Their wounds are so deep, they can’t remember when they were once a source of life to others. In their misery, hurt people hurt others. Many who are suffering don’t directly squash the people around them but instead attempt to block the Light that would allow others to thrive.

My roses will die if I don’t remove this limb soon. The dead weight does more damage the longer it is remains. It is not God’s desire that we break or crush those around us. In His faithfulness, God does what is necessary to protect us and others whether we like it or not.

You see, I lost another pear tree last summer. When it split (and fatally so) I knew I should prune the remaining two if they were going to survive. But I didn’t act in a timely manner when I was given the direction to do so. When we don’t do what we should, when we should, we usually suffer the consequences.

Thankfully, God prunes us to keep us from breaking! He cuts away things that we perceive as beautiful and wonderful because He can see the impending storm beyond the horizon. Without pruning, the world could pull us apart and possibly separate us from God! Without Him we can’t survive. We may be alive but we won’t thrive anymore than the dying limb across my roses. brokenblsdins2

Pruning is often painful. We rarely recognize it. We tend to analyze why when people and things we enjoy are gone. God prunes as necessary to keep us upright. God loves us and gives us grace and mercy to endure the cuts that ultimately leave us stronger, healthier and able to thrive for His Kingdom.

My healthy trees provide homes for several animals. They produce berries for the birds and rats squirrels to eat.  They release oxygen essential for life. For our spiritual health, it is necessary that God prunes us so we not only survive but also provide for others. 

We may lose a few limbs along the way. However, God prunes those who abide in Him for our own good.

Be mindful to not let broken people break you. Pray for them. Minister to them if they allow you. Recognize that every hurt isn’t about you but instead something inside the offending party. Seek discernment to recognize pain in others. There is no better way to show God’s love than to meet people in their pain. 

Finally, don’t break other people when you are hurting. Sometimes we experience bad breaks. There are times when God’s pruning leaves us feeling broken. Regardless of how a wound is formed, it takes time to heal. However, our God restores and comforts those who seek Him.

With God we can move forward no matter what bad “breaks” we are forced to face.

“For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that its tender shoots will not cease.” Job 14:7 NKJV


Can You Stand the Rain?

“and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:25 NKJV

As I type this, it is raining and has rained all day. In order that we may receive the harvest and the bounty the rains make possible, we must first be able to withstand it. Everyone loves a sunny day. I am no exception. However, rain serves a purpose. Though often wet, cold and inconvenient, it is necessary.

There is no way we can withstand the storms of life and come out better than before without the Word of God. The above passage is from the parable Jesus taught in regard to those people who hear His truths and “do them.It is not enough that we hear, we must carry out His teachings.

God’s directives give us what is necessary to stand the storm. His teachings are often in direct contrast to our own tendencies. God teaches us to have faith, trust and even love one another as we go through storms in life not just when we enjoy the good times. Without faith in God instead of our own abilities, most of us would undoubtedly wilt under the pressure of the storm.

When the disciples faced a storm in the very presence of Jesus they were afraid and panicked. Jesus was with them and still they were afraid. Jesus silenced their storm. Yet before he silenced it, He allowed it.  DSC_4401

The storm was an opportunity for the disciples to see the power of God at work before them.  I’ve seen the greatest miracles in my darkest hours, when my personal storms raged with no relief in sight.

Our rainy days and storms will pass eventually. When we allow His presence into our lives and have faith enough to hear and obey, His Word makes our storms are bearable. We can stand the rain!

If you find yourself rained on now or even feel like you’re drowning, what are you relying on? Is it other people? Your own abilities? If you haven’t already, try God.

God puts the rain in perspective. Some people focus so intently on their storm they never get past it. Even after the rains pass,  fear of another storm paralyzes them and leaves them feeling helpless,  afraid and unable to move.

Yet, when we focus on our Savior instead of temporary rains, we can endure. I challenge you to turn to God and give Him whatever storms  might be weighing you down. Don’t view your rainy days as if they are here to stay. Instead, view them as temporary and essential for growth and possibly a new harvest of better things to come.  DSC_4107

The Son/sun will shine and break through the rains.

“then I will give [you] rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.” Deuteronomy 11:14 NKJV