Sunday, August 21, 2016

Life Storms Revisted

Last time we talked about how storms can occur in life.  We noted that often birds can be found perched on the branches of trees singing their hearts out in the midst of life's storms.  If birds can do this, we can do this as well.  As we talked about last time, we do not have to live in fear.  God will always be with us.

When I was a caregiver I remember facing life's storms.  They would sometimes come unexpectedly depending on the day.  Also as my husband would take another step downward in his mobility and ability to function, I would often feel a sense of fear.  As I repeatedly became adjusted to a "new normal," in my husband's downward spiral, I would see the clouds on the horizon and anticipate the next "storm" or downward decline.  Yet God tells us not to fear.  He will be with us in each new storm.

I still face storms in life even in my post care-giving days and in my life as a widow.  Doesn't it seem as if life's problems never end, like we move from one problem to the next?  Since the first of the year I have faced house maintenance issues, major computer issues, physical pain issues, and a major expensive repair issue with my car.  I have even watched my sister be diagnosed with breast cancer. 

I wish I could say that I never give into fear and anxiety during these times, but that would not be true.  God knows we are frail, however, and that is why he tenderly reminds us over and over that we need not give into fear.  You, dear caregiver, also perhaps have fears and dread the "storms" of life; as you care for your loved one.  Not only do you have the responsibilities and challenges of care-giving, but you also have to face the day to day challenges and storms of everyday life.  Yet God says to you and to everyone that we need not fear.

In Matthew 8:23-27 of the Bible the disciples were caught in an actual physical storm on the lake.  Verse  twenty-four says, "Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping."  Notice it says that Jesus was sleeping in the midst of the storm!  So often during the daylight hours we wring our hands in anxiety and try valiantly to control or change a situation in our own strength, or we toss and turn at night not able to sleep.  But Jesus slept peacefully throughout the storm. 

When the disciples cried out to Jesus for help He calmed the storm.  Sometimes He will do that for us also.  Other times He will calm our spirits in the midst of the storms as we look to Him.  Jesus also asks us the question He asked the disciples, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"  (Matthew 8:26)  We need not ever be afraid, because God is with us always and will never leave or forsake us.

We also need remember that God often speaks to us during those storms.  We do not seek out the storms of life.  If you are like me, your would prefer to avoid those storms.  Yet if we listen for the voice of God in the midst of the storms, we will be blessed and grow in our faith.  Listen for the still small voice of God; as you face life's storms, dear caregiver.

The storms of life also helps us to see the power of God and cause us to worship Him.  They make us stand in awe of His greatness, as time after time we see His faithfulness in the midst of storms.  The disciples in Matthew 8:27 recognized this in a way that perhaps they never had before because of this storm on the lake and the Lord's presence in the midst of the storm. 

Dear caregiver, don't fear the storms.  Fix your eyes on the Lord.  Listen for His still voice, as you read His Word daily.  Then worship Him and thank Him in the midst of the storms.

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