Thursday, November 19, 2015

When Life Is More Like A Steady Drizzle Than A Storm

Hey Friend,

I read in the news, that in the past few months, North Carolina has had more rain than Seattle.  Now that's a lot of rain.  There were two very distinct weeks in which we never saw the sun.  The wind did not blow or rage and the rain wasn't pelting like in a storm.  No, it was more of a perpetual drizzle.  After two weeks of non-stop drizzle I found myself more weary, more down in the dumps, less optimistic, and wondering if the sun was ever going to shine again?!

Sometimes life is like this.  Most of us will face some incredible storms in life.  Times in which the seas are angry and the wind and rain leave devastation in their path.  I think of people I know or who I've been asked to pray for...a couple that recently had a stillborn baby at birth...loving Christian parents whose son committed suicide...a young man in his prime being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.  These, my friends, are STORMS!

These are the events in life that will test and try our faith like non other.  They will ask us to choose if we will bless God or curse Him.  They are defining moments in our faith walk and how we walk through them will leave a forever legacy for those who watch us go through them.  By this, I don't mean how stoic are we?  Far from it...we can have our spirit crushed until we become mere shadows of ourselves, but if onlookers can see God pick up the pieces and breathe beauty into our ashes...that is the blessing in the pain. 

I've been through several major storms in my life, but sometimes what wears me down more so are the weeks of perpetual drizzle.  None of the trials are life threatening.  None of them, on their own, are big enough to be considered a storm, but the piling on of many smaller trials can be enough to sink me into a state of despair. 

Sometimes I wonder why life is like this.  Why do we often get hit with a perpetual barrage of annoying trials?

I think partly that God, in His wisdom, is giving us practice for when the big storms hit.  He's in essence saying, "Here, practice with the small stuff."

Anyone who has ever trained for a marathon doesn't sit on the couch for weeks and then get up one day and try to run many miles.  No, they practice with the small stuff.  They might start out with a mile and then build upon it as their endurance increases so that when marathon day comes, they are equipped and ready.

Just like that marathon runner, we can practice with the smaller trials.  We can practice patience that may last a few weeks vs. patience that demands years of perseverance. 

We can practice trusting God with details that are difficult, but not life altering.  Trusting God with the small stuff enables us to build our confidence in trusting Him with the really big stuff.

Accepting grace in our smaller misdeeds and experiencing God's grace pour over us will enable us to accept His grace when we think how on earth can God not be truly disappointed in me to the point of wanting to disown me?

Life's drizzles let us practice with the small stuff so that when the big rains come...we are prepared.

Another truth I've learned is that the promises God gives us for life's biggest storms, hold true for when we are overcome by the perpetual drizzle. 

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the fire burn you."  (Isaiah 43:2)

Listen to the beauty of God's promise...whether you walk through a puddle or a raging river...

"I will be WITH you."

He will never leave nor forsake you...He'll walk along with you and carry you if He needs to.

Furthermore, read how He is going to be with you...

"THROUGH the waters, THROUGH the rivers, THROUGH the fire."

God promises to not leave us stuck there.  His grace is sufficient to bring us through whatever we are going through. 

So again, whether it's a seemingly never ending drizzle or a monumental storm, God will see you through to the other side.  God has proved this to me over and over again and each time I come through, it gives me more confidence that whatever comes in the future, He will bring me through that too.

Back up a verse to Isaiah 43:1: The Lord says,

"Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine!"

I remember being out on a boat once and fog and drizzle rolled in.  We weren't in a raging storm, but yet we couldn't see our way through the drizzle to the dock and to the shore. 

My dad was standing on the dock and he was calling my name through the fog.  Though I had not a clue exactly how far I was from shore, I kept following my name being called.  Eventually my dad came into view and I was able to guide the boat safely back into it's slip.

Like my earthly father called my name, my Heavenly Father calls me by name.  He doesn't give up...He continues to call my name through the drizzle until I'm safely back to shore. 

Exclamation points are not used a lot in the Bible, but look at where one is used in this verse...after the declaration by the Lord that says,

"You are mine!"

God emphatically tells us that we are His.  He claims us and you can rest assured that when God claims you as His own, He will do whatever it takes to bring you through the storm or even the perpetual drizzle you are going through.

Nothing you can ever say or do will cause Him to release you from His hand that has taken hold of you.  What comfort to know that God has a hold on me and He's NEVER going to let go.

Maybe you're in a storm right now or maybe you are in what seems to be a never ending drizzle?  Either way, God is still God.  He is still Able to see you through.  If you are in a drizzle, what small stuff may God be asking you to practice with so you will be equipped in His love for when the big storms hit?

Dear Heavenly Father,  Thank you so much for your promises that you will never leave nor forsake me.  Thank you that, whether I'm in a drizzle or in a storm, you will not let the waters sweep over me.  With your grace you will keep my head above water.  Thank you for claiming me as your own and in that I have the assurance that you will never let me matter what.  Help me to practice patience and trust in the small trials of life so that I will have confidence when the storms come.  Just as your resurrection power was with Jesus who overcame the grave, your resurrection power is with me to overcome whatever storms (or drizzle) life may bring.  In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed...

ps. Please pray for a hedge of protection around the children of Redeemer Christian School.  In light of what's going on in our world, they need your prayers.  Also if you want to get one child off the streets and into school, we have 25 children desperate to get in.  Please visit the "MISSIONS" tab on this blog to find out how you can help.  Lives are depending on your love...Only $10/month can make a mighty difference!

Praise for your contributions to Christmas Joy for RCS...all 31 students will be blessed due to your generosity...thank you!