Monday, April 20, 2009

Lessons In the Midst of a Storm

Master, the tempest is raging. The billows are tossing high. The sky is o'er shadowed with blackness, no shelter or help is nigh. Carest Thou not that we perish? How canst Thou lie asleep, when each moment so madly is threatning, a grave in the angry deep? "(Peace be Still by Rev. James Cleveland)
For the last six months I have been unemployed. Like millions of my fellow americans I have been thrust into the midst of a raging tempest of uncertainty, self-doubt, fear, and depression, as I struggle to keep my head above water. Each day brings new hope and new disappointments as well; My job search continues while I try new and inventive ways to occupy my time.
During these months I learned some important lessons. I've learned that nothing happens in my life without God signing off on it. Satan cannot test me without God's permission and God does not give His permission without first equipping me with everything I need to withstand the test. During the storm, while the billows are tossing high, God has my attention and has a firm grip on me so that I will not drown. During the times when the skies seem their blackest, I can hear God's voice whispering to me that He is still with me. I also know that if God gave His permission to send the storm, then He also has my victory in His hands. Yes, the storm will cease and I will not drown and most importantly, I will make it to shore, to dry land.
Another lesson I have learned is that I can make it on a lot less than I thought I could and I am reminded of what is truly important in life. I'm a survivor and no employer has the power to defeat me. On the contrary, the fact that I'm still hear, alive and well, still making it is a tangible message to satan and all those who allow him dominion in their lives that I am victorious because God said so. No job, no position, no office, defines me. God made me and I wear his name badge.
I also learned that God does not dismiss us when we've served our purpose. He doesn't hand us a pink slip when the economy goes bad. I never have to worry about my retirement plan, my benefit package or my health insurance. God loves us and He's provided a place for each of us in His plan even before we were born. His love is unconditional and that indeed is a lesson I'll never forget.
Our storms are merely opportunities for God to show up and show His love for us. It's so amazing what we can get done in situations that seem impossible. Just when we think things are hopeless He sends a rainbow of hope. I know God cares for me and I know he is in the storm with me making sure that I am not overtaken by the waves and while I ride out the storm, I can thank him in advance for I can see land just up ahead.
"The winds and the waves shall obey my will, peace be still. Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea or demons, or men, or whatever it be. No water can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies; they shall sweetly obey my will, peace be still, peace be still. They all shall sweetly obey my will; peace, peace be still.

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