Thursday, June 23, 2011

With God, All Things are Possible

God’s power never ceases to amaze me. I’m always in awe of His grace and mercy. Regardless of the devastation or tragedy, God’s love is always boundless and free. And despite the power of the storm, the sun always shines the next day. In the midst of disaster, if we look to God there is always hope.

This week as my hometown was battered with storms and floods, my heart ached for all affected. One moment the ground was dry from lack of rain, and, in the next instant, the flood waters advanced, destroying homes, stranding people, and trapping them. And it reminded me just how quickly our lives can change. I’m sure those rendered homeless, never dreamed they would lose everything with the morning light—when they went to bed that night. There was no way for them to prepare for the intensity or devastation of the storms; it was unexpected.
Now, they’re assessing the damage, filing insurance claims, going to places where needed items are donated and distributed. Communities are gathering together to help everyone affected. Volunteers are offering their time and kindness, prayers are being prayed and God is offering His mighty hand of love and comfort. Everyone will survive this hardship and move forward in their lives, with only the memories of the catastrophe. They will build their homes and lives back and be stronger because of what they survived.

However, I can’t help but think that one day devastation will strike and the intensity of God’s power will destroy the whole world and everything in it. There will be no comfort on that day. There will be no volunteers, kindness or prayers. There will be no time to neither prepare nor survive. Today is the day to make your preparations.  
I can’t help but believe these tragedies in divers places are warnings to us. Not only the people affected directly, but everyone who witnesses it. God is showing us a small glimpse of His power. He is showing us that we need Him in our lives to survive, grow, and prosper. He is showing us that, yes, bad things will happen to us, but if we only lift our eyes to Him, He will give us rest and peace.

None of us know why we suffer, but I know there is a reason. Sometimes it takes heartache to be able to pray or to even see the need. But the best thing we can do in bad situations is lift our eyes to God. He can show us just how blessed we are. It’s hard to stand in the aftermath of the storm and be grateful when everything you have is gone, but if you’re alive to feel the pain, that is a wonderful blessing.
We should all take a moment and hug our loved ones and thank God for sparing us. We should all thank God for every bite of food we take and every breath we draw. We should be thankful for a place to sleep, clothes on our back—even if they’re used, and His love and mercy. Regardless of how we suffer in this life, we will NEVER suffer like Christ suffered for us.

So let today be the first day of your new life. Seek God with your whole heart. Ask Him with tears and a heavy heart to help you. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.
We never know when we will need to pray. What you drove up on a car wreck and the victims needed prayer? What if a tornado was headed right for your house? Could you pray?

I will never forget the time when my daddy was sick and I couldn’t pray for him. He was having chest pains and I was the only one available to help him. As I drove him to the hospital and watched him get worse, I tried to pray, but God wouldn’t listen to me. He had been calling to me to change my ways and come back to Him, but I refused and turned a deaf ear. However, when I needed Him, He turned a deaf ear to me. I had to pray for myself first, before I could pray for Daddy. That was one of the worst times of my life—knowing that if God decided to take him, I couldn’t even ask Him for mercy. Needless to say, by the time He was finished with me I was so glad to go to church and serve Him. And I’ve not been so keen to stray away either.
God is so loving, merciful, and longsuffering, but He can be a terrible God when He pours out His wrath upon us. If you think about it, we don’t really own anything—everything we have is just borrowed. He gives us things to brighten our lives and instead of being grateful, most times we just expect it.

However, we all have the power to change. In ourselves we might fail, but if we look to God all things are possible. We don’t have to conform to the ways of the devil. We all have a choice.  It’s not God’s fault that we continuously make the wrong choices.
Regardless of how far we drift away from God, we are never farther away than our knees. God always hears a humble heart. He can help us be a better person, smile through the pain, forgive our enemies and love our neighbors. He can help us overcome any obstacle we may face with peace. There’s nothing too big for God to handle—I love having Him on my side.

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