The storms of life with its ebbs and flows are vivid in my mind today.
Our friend’s youngest daughter, Jolene, passed away a few days ago after several years of battling cancer.
I watch Kara Tippett’s body fading away from cancer as well and other friends who suffer deeply from personal pains. Another new friend watches her daughter through seizure after seizure without answers that provide relief.
We are weary in this world with the weight of suffering. I have felt it heavy for different reasons, for reasons many can’t understand.
At the same time I rejoice with a friend who has been pronounced cancer free, with others who are receiving yes answers to long awaited prayers. I praise God for current victories in my life.
In it all, I am reminded that the storms of life are always quite near us, whether we see them or not. Sometimes we get caught in the winds to be flown about, but the center is always calm.
The Lord gave me this image many months ago of being centered in the midst of a great cyclone. I wish I could draw it for you, but alas, my talents don’t extend to visual arts.
He asked me to keep my eyes up, focused on Him in the center. He looks straight at me while his hands hold the cyclone that encircles me.
He asked me to trust Him and not move from this safe, quiet place in the middle lest the winds toss me about.
When I try to figure things out, or try to fix things, inevitably I get caught up and my eyes are not up. My feet sway and I am moved wildly about. Tossed to and fro.
Yet, when I’m looking at Him and considering Him in the midst of it all He provides comfort that comes from God alone.
In this image my hands are raised in praise even when the tears are falling their hardest. His gaze is on me. He holds me in place. He has not left.
And God is good, even the worst of our days. When we can’t see it or feel it, His character and His love never changes. I long for the days when the pains are no more. I long for the days where our lives are fully enraptured with love & adoration for Him and from Him. Yet I also long to not waste a day here.
When our eyes are too heavy to see He is there, may He hold us and keep us close.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
~ Isaiah 43:2
When the storms rage, may our hands extend praise & remember He is who He says He is. And as a result, His love for us never changes. We are who He says we are.
I have no words to comfort the depth of pain felt in the loss of a child. I can only grieve and empathize to the point I can, and I pray.
Would you pray too? For the hurting ones near you? Maybe today God is showing you that someone in you know feels caught up in a cyclone. Maybe they need the genuine love a friend who just sits there with them and cries too. Maybe they need prayers and encouragement. You may be the means to bringing calm to a storm.
May the Spirit lead our steps to pray & love those who are hurting all around us.
27But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”28And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said,“Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
~ Matthew 14:27-33
with love, Jolene