and the floods came up...♪ ♫ ♩ ♬
It rained around here for over a solid week. And what a crazy time it was and has been. Tornadoes ravaged through many states including AR leaving so many people without homes, and so many losing their lives. And now, with the huge amount of rainfall, floods are now claiming more homes and more lives.
And yet, now, the sun is shining. Beautiful, bright, rejuvenating sunlight! SON-light! He's shining ever so brightly even though the storms brought so much darkness and destruction.
Two families from our church were deeply impacted by the Vilonia AR tornado. One family, an older couple, their home was picked up off the foundation and rotated and dropped right back down, and is not fit to live in. The other family, a family of 6, their home was completed torn down, leaving them face down on the top of the foundation. Total devastation. But God kept His hand on these families and protected them. A few bumps and bruises, but safe, in one piece.
But I'm telling you now, through this experience, so many people have been put in the position where they have only one option...to trust in the Lord with all of their being. Our church family has just come together in unity to help all affected by the storms. Our worship time has been so alive with the Holy Spirit that it is overwhelming! I am just so pumped up about all that the Lord has shown me, on a personal level, through these storms...and through some of my own storms as well.
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
I think it's like Peter when he had seen Jesus walking on the water and he began to walk out to Jesus on the water also. There was a storm. They were in the middle of probably a downpour of rain and whipping wind and in my mind, booms of thunder with flashes of lightning. And Peter takes his eyes off of Jesus, and he begins to sink. But Jesus reached out His hand and he pulled Peter up.
So first of all, Peter stepped out of the boat; and not only that, he stepped out in the midst of a storm! Go Peter! But then, he started paying closer attention to the circumstances and he took his eyes off of Jesus. And then, PLUNK! He started sinking!
There's more though, oh there is so much more! The beginning of this story said that Peter and the disciples were a "considerable distance from land". So, how did Jesus and Peter get back to the boat? They had to have WALKED TOGETHER THROUGH THE STORM! This was profound to me!
They didn't just blink and were back on shore or back in the boat, although, I know that Jesus could have done that. This is a picture to me that we
1) are never alone,
2) can and should step out in faith no matter what the circumstances and
3) there is only one way out, and that is through the storm with Jesus!
My blood is just pumping and racing right now! I could just jump up and shout and dance and sing! I'm so excited about what I have learned through this, what Jesus is revealing to me and just how awesome and beautiful things look after a storm. Man, I just couldn't appreciate this story like I have, without the storms that I have been through and without the recent for-real life picture of the tornadoes and floods.
Praise Him through the storms!
Praise Him for the storms!
Praise Him in the storms!
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”