So many thoughts on my mind... The teary ride leaving our beloved St. Pete.
The warmth of Mom greeting us in Daytona...with four pizzas awaiting. #lovelanguage
The panic of packing what might be our last remaining possessions.
The joy of community united, giving themselves to the ones they love.
The fear of scarcity at every gas pump, on every road, in every grocery aisle.
The tense build-up over the course of a week.
The drop in my stomach when I woke up and knew we needed to leave town immediately.
The regret of cherishing things and comfort over people.
The heartbreak of the death toll in the islands...immediately followed by fear of wondering if they will ever recover.
I sat through a two and a half-hour car ride with tear in my eyes, not daring to let them fall. Instead, praising God and audaciously praying for a miracle. God, I dare to ask that You would end this disaster. I even dare to ask that people would see this miracle and praise You, people who have never believed in You. I dare to ask for people to begin trusting you for the first time today.
God, Your promises are real and you never fail. You promised You will always be with us. I believe that. No matter what we experience, You are in the middle of it. Every high and every low, every storm and every mountain top. You are there.
Matthew 14 (paraphrased):
Jesus' closest followers + friends (the disciples), were in a boat, a long way from land, being beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. Jesus was on land praying, but He left the safety of land and came out to them, walking on the sea. He spoke to them, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."
Jesus isn't only present in your safest times, in your highest highs. He is walking out into the storm with you. He is the one who brings safety with Him. He is the one who calms the storm.
This storm will blow over. Things will be different, but I hope the greatest difference is in our trust in God. That despite the news reports, despite the doctor's diagnosis, despite the sudden job lay-off, despite the fear in people's eyes, despite it all...we of faith believe God and all of His promises:
Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, "I will neverdesert younor will Ilet you down!” Hebrews 13
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? ...I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lordin the land of the living!Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27
"I am the LORD... in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go... I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you." - God Genesis 28
God's promises are TRUTH. And what I've realized even more today than before is that
TRUTH > reality
Reality changes every day. The stock market changes everyday. The weather changes everyday. Our feelings change every day.
But truth?? Truth never changes. The truth of God's love for us will never, ever, under any circumstances change. The truth that God offers peace in our souls will never change. The truth that God wants the best for us will never change.
We need to re-focus.
This week, I was flipped off while driving for the first time in some time. At the grocery store, people made it clear I was in their way. As someone reached for a bag of Cheetos, I immediately thought I needed Cheetos. Not because I like Cheetos, but because "What if I can't get any more Cheetos after this?" I have seen and heard less kindness than I've seen since...well, the 2016 election. People are in scarcity mode. And satan is telling us that there isn't enough...food, water, fuel...peace, joy, abundance. Where have we been hearing that the world is about to end and there isn't enough for everyone? Well... We've been watching more news this week than in the last 6 months, which has left less time for soaking in the Bible. I believe in smart preparation, but I believe more that God is trying to work in our lives; let's not miss what God is doing!
We need to re-focus on truth. We of faith...we know truth. We have truth. Truth is God's Word. The truth is there is more than enough in Jesus. Let's all calm down from the hurricane heyday and remember TRUTH.