March 3, 2010
The Perfect Storm
2 Corinthians 1:4 "He comforts us every time we have trouble."
Friend To Friend
The comfort of God is faithful and strong - even during the fiercest storms of life. I enjoy going to movies that have a happy ending. Daily life has enough reality in it that I do not want to pay to see more reality made bigger on a movie screen. However, when the movie, "The Perfect Storm" came out, my family was on vacation in North Carolina. The previews suggested a happy ending to the movie. I should have known better, but we love the water and particularly enjoy being on a boat, water skiing, tubing … you get the idea. We bought tickets, popcorn and drinks, found the best seats in the theatre and prepared to be entertained. Wrong! Every scene seemed submerged in water, with another monstrous wave on the way. By the end of the movie, I never wanted to set foot on a boat again. I was worn out and tempted to demand a refund on the tickets because of false advertising and an unhappy conclusion. However, I did come away with a new fascination and deep respect for the sea.
I have a friend who does quite a bit of sailing, so I asked him if he had ever been caught in a bad storm. "Many times!" he said. Unbelievable! I had to ask, "Then why on earth do you keep sailing?" His answer was profound. "Mary, every sailor knows that there will be storms. The trick is to learn how to respond to the storm. In a fierce storm, there is only one thing to do and only one way to survive. You have to put the ship in a certain position and keep her there."
The same is true for the believer. When the storms of life overwhelm us, there is only one thing to do. We must place ourselves in the comfort of God and He will keep us there until the storm is past. Yes, God's comfort is faithful. What a great promise that every time we have trouble He will be there with comfort. The faithful and consistent comfort of God depends upon nothing but the character and heart of God.
I love my children with all of my heart. Naturally, there are times that they make me very angry. They disobey me and sometimes even disappoint me, but if they are hurt, sick or in trouble, the anger, disappointment and even the disobedience is overruled by my love for them and a driving need to comfort them. If my imperfect heart responds to my children that way, think about the perfect heart of our heavenly Father! Richard Fuller writes:
"This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you. Reason cannot help you. Past experiences give you no light. Only a single course is left. You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may -- winds, waves, cross seas, thunder, lightening, frowning rocks, roaring breakers -- no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness and his everlasting love in Christ Jesus."
Few things in this unstable life are completely dependable, but God's comfort is one of them. When the hard times come, we can hold on to the promise that is found in Jeremiah 16:19, "Lord, you are my strength and my protection, my safe place in times of trouble."
Thank You, God, for Your faithfulness to me and for the comfort You give in the midst of my storms. I admit that I don't understand that faithfulness and comfort but I accept it right now in my life. I choose to say and to believe, "Yes, the storm is big but You are bigger!" Help me to rest in You, knowing that You are my comfort and my hope.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
· Identify the "storms" raging in your life today.
· Until today, what has been your response to these storms?
· Does God promise to deliver you from every storm? Explain your answer.
· Fill in the following statement: "Turning to God in faith will require me to turn away from _____________________________".
· What does God's comfort mean to you? Record your thoughts in your journal.
More From The Girlfriends
Your trials are many and you have been battered by some brutal storms. I know! But more importantly, God knows. In Him, you are a storm survivor. And when you are face to face with a storm, you are standing on the edge of a miracle. Don't tell God how big your storm is. Tell your storm how big your God is! Stand firm!
My first DVD is now available! Check it out! Strength for the Storm is my story of God's power to turn a broken life into a trophy of His grace and restoration. It will encourage and equip you to face and discover the purpose of each storm in your life.
Visit my website at www.marysoutherland.com to enroll in my weekly online bible study, Light for the Journey. The current lesson topic is "Love That Never Fails." Be sure to check out my book, "Escaping the Stress Trap" for more ways to face those storms.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Wednesday, 03 March 2010.