Grace in the Midst of the Storm

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It is amazing to see the swiftness of God’s movement when His people finally release their control to Him.  While my family is still in the midst of crisis, God has been dealing with us, showing His love for each one of us.

The men out there understand my need to fix the things in my family.  It is our nature as men, especially those of us with families, to want to tackle the tasks needed for our families.  We want to protect each member and we are devastated if we are put into a position where there is absolutely nothing we can do.  Now add in the part where someone else takes the power from you and is in a position of control with your family.  I don’t know about any of you, but I wanted blood!

God first drew me back to the first chapter of James:

19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

It took some time to wrap my arms around this, because Lord knows I wasn’t in the mood.  I enjoyed my wrath, my anger.  I was spitting nails and taking names.  It felt good because I prefer anger to pain.  Can I get a witness?!

I finally gave in, now embracing Romans 12:19-21:

19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

            If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

            For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Oh how I found comfort in these words!  I prayed blessings over those people on a continuous basis!  At some points I was praying more for them than the actual situation!  It felt good heaping those hot coals, until God showed me that this was not His way, not out of love.  No, I did it out of hatred.  How could I expect God to bless that?  I continue to pray for them, only I pay more attention to that last verse, verse 21.

Finally reaching the point where God could speak to me, I was able to receive James 1: 2-4:

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

My son’s Bible translation, the NIrV, says it like this:

2My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy. 3Your faith will be put to the test. You know that when that happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. 4The strength to keep going must be allowed to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need.

I love how that reads!  My family is gaining strength so that we will have everything we need!  With this revelation, I wanted to do what I lovingly call the Sister Margaret, laughing in a high cackle in ascending notes, “Hah! Hah! Hah!” with a hand raised as I danced backward in a circle.  (I love you Sister Margaret!!)

We decided to heed Peter’s advice in I Peter 5:7, reading from the NIV:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Now here is where things started to get real exciting.  Yesterday, we had to call in a technician to look at our heating system.  While he was working, we started to have a conversation.  It quickly became obvious that he was not only a believer, but he has gone though and is going through a similar situation to our own, so I shared with him.  That man spoke words of life to my wife and I that greatly encouraged us.  He was sent by God alone, to let us know that He is in control.

Today, while having our car serviced, Fe and I were doing our daily reading, following the plan our church adopted this year with the Life Journal from our amazing pastor, the Rev. Scott Carver.  My wife, Fe (meaning faith in Spanish), read from her Nook, but I believe God had me bring my actual Bible along and I read from that.  Another gentleman in the waiting area, who had been talking and cussing jovially with the others in the room, along with us, took notice, and told us that he knows that God doesn’t give us anything that we cannot handle.  For real?!  Tell me God isn’t talking to us!!!!

When we got home, we received word that part of our prayers in this situation is already happening.  God is moving the chess pieces in place for an assured victory!  The end hasn’t come, but it’s on the way!  I can’t help but think, Satan thought he scored at Calvary.  You know he was celebrating the assumed victory, never realizing that he put himself in checkmate!  Hallelujah!!!

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