The Lord can use events in life, such as Hurricanes, to speak to our hearts, if we'll stay around long enough to listen. "Isabel" has been no different. I want to share a couple of simple words that were whispered to my heart while preparing for this storm, and during the days immediately following. The following was written on September 19, 2003.
A couple of days ago, as I was clearing things from outside (anything that might be blown about), I removed an awful lot of things that should have been tossed into the garbage, or at least put away somewhere, LONG AGO. But it took the threat of a "storm" for me to "get it together" enough to do it...
I began thinking about how we often fear and shrink back from the "storms" in our lives. Rightly so, for sure; but I wonder if perhaps one of the "purposes" of trials and storms is to help us see the things that are essential in life, and the things that are really unnecessary, irrelevant or even harmful to us. As you and I go through the "tough" times in life, perhaps it would help for us to allow the Lord to use those times for our benefit, to clear away the things that hold us back from being all that He desires for us... To let Him show us the things that REALLY matter, and those that are just a distraction and hindrance to us. "...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." (Hebrews 12:1b)
This morning, as the storm has done it's damage, and is heading on past the Eastern seaboard; I felt another "lesson" being spoken to my heart. There is so much "grief" in the aftermath of a storm. So much sadness as we see those around us so wounded. And in our lives, since we are inevitably so "human" (I sure hope so at least :), there is sometimes "storminess"... attitudes, negative words, stress, tension.
This morning, I felt a "peace" in the Lord, since the day here is actually becoming quite a beautiful one. Yet my inner peace seemed to waver at points, as it became all too easy to sort of "absorb" all of the tension and grief in the events surrounding me (just watching the news broke my heart to see the lives that have been so wounded). At one point, I found myself crying out to Jesus, a quick little prayer, that perhaps would be beneficial for us all to pray at one point or another: "Dear Lord, help me to absorb more of YOU!" And I pray for all of us, including myself, that we might look at Him so deeply and regularly, that we will naturally become more like HIM. "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." (Colossians 3:2)
"Dear Heavenly Father, It is so easy to look at events surrounding us and become discouraged... Or to look at each other's attitudes, and then find ourselves responding in the same negative way... Help us to look at YOU, see Your kindness, mercy and grace; and take on THOSE qualities instead."