Cling to Jesus in the Storm

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Last month, I experienced the perfect storm, spiritually speaking.

First, I missed church four Sundays straight, probably for the first time in my life!  Most of the reason for the absence: my children were sick, with something  new each week.  That culminated in compromising my health.  Due to lack of sleep and a wonderful cocktail of germs in the house, I was so sick I slept for almost thirty-one hours straight!

Next, I was deeply saddened by the geographical loss of a spiritual mentor.

There were also some career stresses in the house, which in combination with all else, temporarily propelled me into a pit of despair.

We are told in Job that satan “roams the earth and goes back and forth in it.” (Job 1:7)   We are not given much information about his methods, but from biblical examples and my own experiences, I believe he studies each of us.  He waits for the perfect combination of events and then launches an attack.  I do not wish to glorify him in any way; it is just wise to know a bit about the enemy’s offense.

It is also good to be self-aware.  When and where am I more likely to give into temptation?  For me, when I am overtired, hungry, and have not spent much time with God, to name a few.

Many times when we are losing ground, we do not realize it.  During the last month, I was praying multiple times a day.  I was also reading my Bible.  And I was oh-so-tired and oh-so-frustrated.

My prayers were almost constant, my voice I know God heard.  And although He was speaking, my mind refused to “Be still and know I am God.” Psalm 46:10

I could not piece together my loss of communion with God until I did finally returned to church and took communion.  I realized, shockingly, I could not keep my mind focused on Christ.

Coming home, I retreated to my closet where I pray.  (My family knows, unless it is an emergency, do not disturb!)  It took awhile, but like Mary in Luke 12:34 I found physical and spiritual rest at the feet of Jesus.

No matter what happens on this earth, God is still on His throne.  Leaders may rise and fall, my body may fail me through disease, and stresses may come and go; but at the end of the day God still reigns, and He still loves me.  He loves me (and you!) so much He sent His Son to build a bridge so sin would not forever separate us from Him.

In the next few weeks, I would like to discuss how each of us might “Develop a Hunger for the Things of God.”

That idea is a chapter title from a parenting book we are doing in a ladies Bible study. (The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian).

Because, even as life happens, when we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will always calm the storms within each of us.

Reflection:

1) When have I been in a “perfect storm” spiritually?

2) When did I recognize it, and how did I react?  (With surprise, anger, pride?)

3) Pray for insight into your spiritual temperament.

4) Identify when you are more susceptible to spiritual failure.

5) Identify ways to ward off those conditions.

Thnaks for reading! Please return by next Monday, Novemeber 12, for the next post

 

2 thoughts on “Cling to Jesus in the Storm”

  1. Two or three months ago, I was hit by a storm…or more like sucked in. I had prepared knowing I was entering rough waters. I had prayed, asked a couple of friends to pray, I looked up (and even printed) scripture to ready myself for what was ahead. In the beginning, I was weathering the storm well. I felt equipped & strong when suddenly; I was blasted by waves of lies. The barrage of Satan’s lies did not cease. In the beginning, armed with scripture, I recognized the lies. But after the waves continued to attack me, I began to feel confused. I wanted to continue in the front line of battle that I had prepared for. I wanted to be David and fight Goliath. In Christ I was confident. I was not about to retreat.
    I am humbled to admit, I had reached despair before I realized that it was God’s battle and I needed to find protection behind Him. I believed Satan’s lies about me, the church and who I am in Christ. Yahweh, my Great Warrior, was calling me to take shelter and to let the Mighty I AM be my Fortress.
    I was surprised by the storm. I questioned why…, how…, did I let myself get so low. Had I overestimated my ability? Had I not equipped myself well for battle with prayer and scripture? Or had the enemy disguised himself? I entered the storm expecting to battle men, clinging to their puny traditions with hypocritical arrogance. Instead, the battle was with the forces of darkness, whispering to me in the night, robbing me of peace. I became convinced that I was an intruder that needed to disappear. The church was better before my existence. I was a mistake!
    I learned that I cannot face a storm without a fellow believer by my side. I was wrong going solo thinking I was protecting others. God humbled me. He also revealed it is within the storms of the church, with my fellow worshipers, that I am the most vulnerable. I pray that when I am in the midst of a storm, I recognize that the true adversary is Satan and his forces, not the mere men before me.

    1. Dani,

      Thanks for sharing, sincerely. I too, have been truly humbled when I discovered something I thought was worth fighting for, was not really what I thought at all. You are so right that Satan loves to disguise himself behind ideals and people, so our “fight” seems to be against others, and not him. But we serve a gracious God, and as we grow in Him, He gently restores us, just as a loving Father would.
      Please know I am praying for you and again, thank you so much for sharing. I am quite certain you experience will be used for good! I am truly blessed by your words,
      Stefanie

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