Our hearts are grieving for the people who live in the Philippines. One of our friends has a daughter and family who have built an orphanage there. Fortunately their area was virtually untouched by the typhoon. That in itself was a miracle.
But photos are coming in and the devastation is great. The winds were marked at what may prove to be highest recorded in the history of record keeping. The ferocity of the winds can be told in the damage that is left now that the storm has passed. Homes are wrecked. Neighborhoods are gone. Even the loss of life is extreme and the count is expected to increase.
When a storm of this magnitude comes ashore there’s not a thing one can do to prevent it from doing its damage. The best thing that anyone can do is leave for higher ground and safer areas. In the United States coastal residents do well to leave for inland towns. But on islands in the ocean it’s hard to find a safe haven to remain until the storm passes by.
We pray for the people of the Philippines as they attempt to overcome the devastation and look for their property and their loved ones. And we pray for the rescuers and charity workers who go into the country to help in any way they can. We ask God to help for He is a help in time of need.
There are all kinds of storms that threaten the believer. For us, we’d like to prepare ahead and avoid the storms entirely. But we don’t know what’s beyond the horizon. Today may be calm and sunny. Tomorrow we might wake up with heartache and pain. We who are born again are not mysteriously immune to troubles, trials, sorrow, or agony. When we are in the throes of the storm we know it. Our hearts can feel crushed, our lives can seem insignificant, our whole lives can seem to be storm tossed and under the power of the winds and waves of destruction. We feel isolated, humiliated, barricaded and open to the elements. If we’re not careful we will let the storm itself become our mantra and let anger, resentment, sorrow, misery and cynicism take over our lives. We can feel powerless, defeated, depressed and paralyzed in our hurts and fears. Whether we brought the storm on by our own mess ups or we had it thrown at us by another, the pain is the same. We are destined to be the victim unless someone steps in to help.
When devastation threatens your heart, where do you find port in the storm? How do you survive? Where do you go? How do you live again after the storms, after the winds and after the floods? Is there anything you can do to survive? Is there anywhere you can go to live after the wreckage is surveyed and the storm is passed?
God speaks to my heart: My precious child. When you are in a storm, the storm of your life, I AM there. Not only am I there, I am in charge. Even when your mind feels disoriented and your heart feels like it will never beat again, I AM. I cannot promise you that storms will never come, but I do promise that I will be with you. I cannot keep you free of the weather patterns of life but I will show you how to live in spite of the storm. I am the one who will give you hope and victory even when all about you looks lost. You can trust Me because I love you. And because I love you I will see you through every storm that ever enters your life. When others come against you, I will be your bulwark. When the winds of adversity weaken the strength of your resolve, I AM your strength. When you feel alone and abandoned, I am your Ever Present Savior. My Word is My bond. Before the storms you may feel my presence but after the storm you will know Me better, for I AM that I AM. No other God made of wood, metal or stone can keep you safe in the storms of life, but I AM the God who saves you, the God who watches over you the God who renews, refreshes and redeems you. I will keep you in all your ways as you hold onto Me.
Oh beloved, I know it’s hard for some of you right now. The storm has been raging for so long that some of you are barely hanging on. I would never tell you that the storms of life are easy, for I have weathered storms myself. I know they hurt and they are so very hard to weather. But I know the Lord and He is able. What you are experiencing now will not last forever. Hold on to His unchangeable nature. Hold on to His unquenchable love. Hold on to His wonderful promises. For in due time the storm will pass. We are not victims, but victors. We are not overwhelmed but overcomers. Trust Him now, while the storm is raging, trust Him now while the darkness floods your heart. Trust Him now when you have nothing to hold onto. He is faithful and He will see you through. Some things in your life might be counted as loss, but you will never lose your faith and God will never let you go.
God always loves you and He’s always for you and that, beloved, will get you through and give you hope and cause you to stand on the Rock no matter what.
Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me.
Isaiah 25:4 For You have been a defense for the helpless, A defense for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall.
Matthew 7:25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
Psalm 20:1 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!
Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.