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"Lollipop and Pearls" - Jared Kraft

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Calm After the Storm!!!

On Good Friday Middle Tennessee was pounded with severe thunderstorms, some of which became tornadoes. Murfreesboro, TN., about 45-miles from my house, received the brunt of the tornadic damage. I just heard on the morning news that the damage in that small down alone is estimated to be a minimum of $33 million! It took only a matter of a short few 5 minutes or less to touch down in the surrounding area, then it was over!

One minute people were sitting in their homes, safe and a split second the storms came and left behind it's incredible devastation! One minute life is normal! In the blink of an eye "normal" is a word that has no meaning to those in the direct path of the storm! Life takes on a "new normal"; shock and awe set in; assessments are made; then clean up begins!

Is not life like that? Life can seem to be fairly "normal"; we go along day after day, our same routine of life, and suddenly...or maybe even gradually...a storm in life heads our way! It may arrive quickly and without any warning ~ no time to prepare! Other times we may have brief warnings; yet it arrives before we have much time to prepare for it; still other times we know it's coming, and we may try our best to prepare; yet we may have no idea the devastation that will accompany it! About the time we pick the pieces of THAT storm up and begin putting our life back together again, there's another one brewing somewhere.

Here's the reality: we have no control over weather conditions; what we ARE in control of is how prepared we are for the storms to come, and WHEN they come how we will handle them! We are assured that life will have it's storms~ even for the believer! We are also assured that Jesus will be with us IN the storm...just as He was with the disciples in that boat on the sea during the storm~ He was asleep while the disciples were frightened of the storm. Jesus spoke and the storm quieted!

Homes can be rebuilt; "stuff" can be replaced; new cars can be purchased; but lives lost cannot be replaced. (FYI: 2 lives were lost in the Murfreesboro tornado here: 1 lady and her 9-week old child; her husband remains in critical condition! By all accounts, it is a miracle that more lives were not lost! Yet, 2 deaths is 2 too many, so please pray for this husband/father left behind!) How prepared are you to receive the storms that WILL come? Do you truly KNOW the One that can speak and calm the storms of lie? Is your relationship with your Heavenly Father such that you can cry out during the storms and know that He hears you and promises to answer? Do you know Him personally enough to believe His promise that if He brings you TO it He will bring you THROUGH it? If not, I pray that at this moment you will invite Him to live in you, so that you will be able to walk in victory, no matter the storms of life.

See, Jesus faced the greatest storm anyone has ever faced: His very life being given through the most cruel of punishments, reserved only for the most hardened criminals: death on a cross! Why would He do that? He did not have to! He did it because He loves YOU SO MUCH that He wanted to pay for you sins, so you would no have to! All He asks in return is that you invite Him into your life for a real, personal, living relationship~ not just for what happens to you after you die, but for how you enjoy the remainder of this earthly life! Sometimes Jesus will calm the storms of life; other times He will totally eradicate them; still other times He will allow them (He doesn't "cause" them, but He DOES allow them~ and always for our good, though we may not be able to see, feel or identify it at that moment). ALWAYS He will be with us through the storms!

Yesterday we celebrated His resurrection from the grave! We know that He is alive, and because He IS alive, we can have a rel, living, personal love affair with Him! Then when the storms come, we hold tight to His hand and press on! Remember: after the storm comes the calm~ the sun comes back out, a new day dawns, and joy returns!

If you don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please take care of that right now by praying this prayer: "Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."

If you did just pray that prayer, please let me know, so I can add you to my prayer list, as you begin your new life with Christ! If you DID just accept Him as your Savior, know this: there's a party going on in Heaven in your honor right now! WOW! And congratulations to you on making the most important decision of your life! Welcome to the family of God, sister/brother!

Ps. 30: 5 says this: "For his anger lasts only a moment,but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."

I so grateful that God's protection and His provisions are enough!

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