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“It’s like watching paint dry,” my husband said and we all burst out laughing because at that moment, truer words had never been spoken! We had been waiting for Hurricane Irma to arrive for seven. whole. days. Life as we knew it was on hold. First it wasn’t coming our way, then it was. Then it wasn’t, then it was again. Should we stay? Should we go? The frenzy for gas, waters, batteries, and canned goods had started early and long passed. All the stores were completely done and we felt the same.
We eventually settled on a decision to stay home and we brought my in-laws over to our house. The day had finally arrived and we hunkered down. We turned on the weather channel and watched and waited. We turned off the weather channel and watched and waited. (Don’t even get me started on the weather channel.) The metaphorical paint was oh so slowly drying. Irma was moving at 9 mph while tensions were speeding up. Even though we were not looking forward to Irma we were to the point where we just wanted to get her over with!
Ever felt that way about an impending storm?
But God may have some prep work in mind.
My church sent out an email mapping out when they would be open and closed. It concluded with Psalm 46:1-2:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
It struck me how these verses were so confident! Unshakable even.
Side note: These verses will be #11 on our Fear Verse Project!
The Psalmist boldly proclaimed that he was not going to fear – no matter what came!
Because God was his refuge and strength …
whether the hurricane was a direct hit or skirted around him.
Whether or not.
That hopped me right onto a bunny trail about “weather” and “whether.”
2 Corinthians 5:9: So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
Can I honestly and confidently declare that I can and will weather the storms (because God is my strength) whether they bring destruction or miracles?
That would please Him, wouldn’t it?
And we know from experience that we will have both. Hurricane Irma demolished some towns and skirted around others (ours).
John 16:33 NIV: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In his book Rumors of Another World, Philip Yancey points out, “No one gets an exemption from hardship on planet Earth. … The Bible never minimizes hardship or unfairness – witness books like Job, Psalms, and Lamentations. It simply asks us to withhold final judgment until all the evidence is in.”
What does it take to get through the storm and let it take you deeper in life? Yancey says it’s trust: “‘Do not be afraid’ is the most frequent command in the Bible. … Trust does not eliminate the bad things that may happen. Trust simply finds a new outlet for anxiety and a new grounding for confidence: God.”
Let’s continue reading in Psalm 46, and note verses 10-11 in the Amplified Version …
“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower].
Be still and know.
I picture that with an open Bible.
Could that be the key to letting Him be our refuge and strength?
Look at verse 10 in a couple of other versions …
CBS: “Stop your fighting, and know that I am God …
CEV: Our God says, “Calm down, and learn that I am God!
NASB: “Cease striving and know that I am God;
Meditating on Psalm 46 before Hurricane Irma was a wonderful gift. I cannot tell you how thankful I am that God sent those verses my way through a quick email! Not only did I learn a lot through the verses, but I also learned to …
Never speed-read a Bible verse.
Whether there is craziness going on or not.
Be still and know – through every verse God sends your way.
Next impending storm?
We are ready.
The hand-lettered print above?
All my email subscribers got it in their inbox for free! I send a printable every Thursday so they can either give it as a gift, make a greeting card, save it as a screensaver, put it in their planner or scrapbook, make index cards to memorize – you get the idea. If you want to join the fun too, you can subscribe right here.
If you missed the printable while it was free, you can find it here in my SHOP.
And don’t forget to download your welcome gifts …
You might also enjoy these related posts:
I am linking up with Alisa at Salt & Light and Holley at Coffee For Your Heart and Kelly at RaRa Link Up and Jennifer at Tell His Story and Lori at Moments of Hope and Deb at Faith ‘n Friends and Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth.
I just got an email that the Daily Hope Devotional by Rick Warren is now a skill on Amazon Echo! Just tell Alexa to “enable Daily Hope” and you can listen to Pastor Rick’s devotion for the day.
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