In the midst of the storm, seek His face not the calm. In the fire of the furnace, seek His heart not the rain. In the crying out of “Why?,” seek the Answer-Giver not the answer. To praise Him in the pain is to remove the focus from ourselves and place it on Him. He is Good, Right, Just, Faithful. He will give us a song in the night.
He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food. Job 36:16
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
Hand-picked by the Creator of the universe. Given the crown of royalty. The apple of His eye. All for the purpose of praising Him. Created to worship. Why? Because He called to us in our graves. He spoke my name. He beckoned my heart. He drew my spirit to His own. Into His glorious Presence. Hallelujah!
Waiting. All the while knowing that on the horizon a tempest approaches. How to prepare? Chaotic thoughts swirling through the anxious corners of the brain. The need for calm is utmost for precaution. Examining all the possibilities. Not knowing the outcome. Millions are fleeing. Long lines. Dead-stopped traffic. Empty shelves. Exactly as God wants us to come to Him. Desperate, anxious, empty. Knowing that He is the only way out. Split-second, unexplainable, incomprehensible peace. He gives, He takes away. I will praise Him in the storm. And more so knowing the storm is approaching.
Unresolved conflict. The churning within that promotes seething. The bile of bitterness welling up to choke off words. The cancer that eats away the softness of the heart and leaves stone in its place. Seek humility. Seek the face of Grace. When our own need of Him is seen, we suddenly look at others with more forgiving eyes. How could I not forgive while He so readily forgives me? This doesn’t make what the other person did right. It makes me right with God. Leave the judgment in the hands of the Divine Judge.
The fear of the Lord. It begins. Awe. Reverence. Worship. Not a cringing, cowering, don’t-strike-me-down fear. Holy hands lifted high, knees bowed down in adoration. Totally surrendered. Head over heels in love. Jumping with joy because there’s just no stopping you. Heaven on earth.
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Unending love. Overflowing grace. Lavish gifts. Unspeakable peace. Supernatural power. Hope for tomorrow.
As the calendar advances and summer begins to fade, there is a sudden energy in the air. New beginnings bring excitement and a little uncertainty. New schools, new teachers, new friends, new schedule. Routine. It’s a beautiful thing. Time to finally unpack the vacation suitcases. The air becomes more crisp, less soggy. The leaves begin their seasonal dance of starting to change into their brightly colored foliage. The mornings have become brisk warming to pleasant. The world magically blooms in pumpkin.