Tag Archives: storms

Lasting Help Comes From God

Ominous cloud formation last Fall, 2014

Ominous cloud formation last Fall, 2014

True help cannot come from our own strength.  It does not come through devices of our making, nor originate from ideas of our initiation.  It comes from a power source not our own.

Real and lasting help in a battle comes only from God.

This is especially true, when the storms we face are dark and ominous.  Onslaughts brought on by unseen dominions and principalities, at work against us because we belong to Christ.

Hallelujah, our God is greater! 

He is a very present help for any need.  His is the kind of help that is more than a mere temporary fix, because the Lord’s help goes beyond our finite understanding of what is really needed or wrong.  He understands the battle for what it is.  He sees to the root source: the real enemy we face.

Are you up against an overwhelming situation?  Is the battle raging?

*Admit that you need God’s help.
*Cry out to the Lord and then trust in the power of His name.

Through God alone, we shall prevail, beloved.  He will not fail us, but will deliver in our time of need.

Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, “LORD, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.
2 Chronicles‬ ‭14‬:‭11 NASB

Gully Washers ~ Helping Others Through Life’s Raging Rivers

Raging River

Raging River ~ a gully washer

Down south, when it rains hard, we call it a gully washer.  These are the kind of rainstorms where the water gushes down into gutters and through culverts, with flash flood strength.

Raging River Prehistoric

Raging River Prehistoric

I took these photos near the end of one, still showing the force of water rushing into a gutter.  While it collected, the water almost looked like a prehistoric animal.

Raging River Demon

Raging River Demon

This one looked like it had the face of a demon ~ creepy! 

Gully Washers of Life

As my husband and I recently discovered, life’s gully washers can certainly hit with demon-forced strength.  We both still feel like we got pounded!  Like for us, the raging of the flood can last long and grow strong enough to try to sweep you away.

Through it, though, we once again found that there is help and hope no matter the intensity or outcome of the battle.  And a way to look beyond one’s own circumstances and bless others along the way.

The day I captured these pictures was a Sunday.  The rain had just drenched the road in front of my church, before I left for home.  Were it not for the kindness of a parishioner, who had laid bricks as stepping-stones, those of us leaving would have had to traverse a raging river to the parking lot.  The raised brick walkway instead enabled us to make it to our cars with a smile on our faces and dry toes in our shoes.

Help Others During Gully Washers

The thoughtfulness of the brick layer got me to thinking about things we can do to help someone going through a gully washer in life.  Even if we are still in the midst of one ourselves.

We all face times of stormy trials.  With God’s help, we can make it safely to the other side and learn invaluable lessons of endurance.  Lessons designed to equip us to encourage others going through difficulties.  As our circumstances grow us, He doesn’t want us to live in a vacuum. 

Instead, by His power, God wants our lives always on display, shining His light and being used for His purposes.  As Jim and I learned throughout his hospital journey, opportunities for doing so presented daily, and were often just simple acts of kindness on our part.  Some, though, required courageous acts of restraint when issues arose.

Stepping Stones of God’s Light During Gully Washers

In some form or fashion, we can all be stepping-stones of help, light or encouragement to those God places in our path:

We can simply listen and show that we care.  Really listen, to comfort and understand.

We can go out of our way to offer a helping hand.  Or simply hold a hurting hand in need.

We can forgive, even when doing so hurts and the offense seems justified.

We can pray, in earnest, with heart-wrenching, gully washing tears.

Such kind consideration for others models that of our Good Shepherd, who leads us through every storm to places where pastures are green and waters are still.

Raging River ~ Reaching for Help

Raging River ~ do you see the shape of a stick figure, reaching up for help?

With God’s help, we don’t have to suffer through struggles alone.  We can reach out to the One who calms the storms.  But when we reach the seasons of peaceful valleys, Jesus asks that we not grow complacent by neglecting those around us hurting and in need.

With Christ as our example, deeds of comfort and compassion may be their only bricks over the gully washer; the only chance they have of making it safely through to the other side of their raging river.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3, 4

*****

**I would love to hear from you.  Tell of a time when God used a storm or trial as an avenue for you to bless others. 

 

 

Come Quickly ~ Rescue Me

Moon Silouhette 2Behold
My crippled heart
And hear
My feeble plea.
In pain and waning hope,
Come quickly,
Rescue me.

Console
My wounded soul
And mend
My faded dreams.
I’ve superfluous tears,
Speak softly,
Restore me.

Uphold
My fragile fears
And stay
My uncertainties.
In tempestuous storm,
Shine brightly,
Renew me.

****

Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.”
Psalm 31:2
NIV

Have you ever been at this place?  Although I’m not there now, it’s a place I’ve been many times before.  God is always faithful to rescue, so don’t lose heart!

For more of my poems, see Poetry CornerCome Quickly, Rescue MeSue Nash/2013

Moments in the Storm, Part I

Tsunami new

I love this old hymn that we used to sing when I was growing up called, ‘Got Any Rivers?’

Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?
Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?
God specializes in things thought impossible
And does the things that others cannot do.
by Oscar C. Eliason
(Excerpt)

Don’t know about the rest of you, but I have encountered rivers that seemed ‘uncrossable’ and huge mountains that I felt I could not tunnel through. I am not talking about actual rivers or mountains. Instead, what I mean are those seemingly impossible, overwhelmingly awful circumstances that seem to come when you least expect. Sometimes, they have even been more like what I would describe as tsunamis! By whatever name, they tend to hit out of nowhere and leave one feeling vulnerable, devastated and afraid. When they occur, there often just does not seem to be a way to make it through.

Like it or not, we are guaranteed to experience these awful trials. In John 16:33, Christ reveals to us, “In the world, you will have tribulation…” This Greek word for tribulation is thlipsis and means, ‘to crush, press, squeeze’ or ‘a grievous affliction or distress.’ God accurately describes these kinds of storms because they really do feel like a crushing blow and seem to squeeze the very life out of us. Jesus warns us that while here, we will all eventually bump headlong into ‘grievously distressing’ situations which have the capability of crushing us and taking us under.

Though it does help to be warned, knowing ahead of time that we will face tribulations doesn’t make them any easier when they hit. In fact, they are the things which make or break us as believers. They become our defining moments. Our ‘moments in the storm.’ If we really trust Christ, we should all be able to just ‘bounce back up’ and handle anything life throws our way. The reality is that these stormy moments can be of such magnitude even the strongest in faith are knocked flat.

As if the storm itself were not bad enough, there are also many online or on television preaching that believers must merely ‘speak away’ every trial in Jesus’ Name. When the storm does not immediately subside, the same ones say we should call into question that person’s level of faith. Jesus does want us to pray in faith against any mountain or storm; however, conclusions by others due to the apparent lack of results when we do, are at best guess-work and even cruel.

It would be great if our trials were so easy to understand and we could go through this life totally free of tribulations by simply speaking them away! The fact of the matter is that we have no guarantees our storms will suddenly abate by our speaking, wishing or even praying them away! Our only certainty is that they will come. God is God and we are not; consequently, we cannot circumvent His sovereignty or negate circumstances He has allowed and perhaps even deemed necessary. We often misunderstand that God’s seeming refusal to respond is instead Him asking us to wait.

Conclusion tomorrow.