The words of the song “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof have long resonated within my soul. Indeed one season follows another in the story of our lives, bringing challenges, disappointments, and heartaches, but not without splashes of hope and sprinklings of happiness. This collection of devotional readings, an excellent resource for holiday programs and publications, gives fresh meaning to the seasons and holidays of the year. So pour yourself a cup of tea, grab your Bible, and head for your comfy chair to savor a cup of inspiration, a spoonful of encouragement, and a generous outpouring of the milk of God’s love. SELAH!
“Her devotions read like she is sitting across from you just sharing from her heart.” – Diana Pederson
“Michele Huey’s gift is to take God’s Word and translate it into deep-in-the-trenches, real-life solutions for our everyday problems. In this series of seasonal devotions, she takes us by the hand and shows us how to turn our stresses into joyful nuggets of wisdom that keep us going day after day. Michele helps us grow a rich tapestry of faith spring, summer, fall, and winter.” – Patricia Lorenz, inspirational, art-of-living writer and speaker, author of seven books and top contributing writer to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books
“What better way to enjoy the seasons than curled up in a comfortable chair with a steaming cup of tea and a spoonful of encouragement from one of Michele Huey’s delightful books!” –Cyndy Salzmann, Christian author and speaker
“Your words always touch my soul. Beautiful. You write in such a way that it makes me feel like I’m there in the situation you are telling.” – Ribcca, blog reader
“I read Michele’s newspaper column with a pen and my journal, because she always gives some nugget of spiritual wisdom that I want to record.” –Betsy Sisitki
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. –Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
As I write this (Thursday, Sept. 13), Hurricane Florence churns her way ashore, her eye on the Carolinas.
My daughter, Jaime, lives in South Carolina, so my mother’s eye is watching the track of that monstrous storm. Torrential rains and tropical-storm-force winds will extend far inland.
“Come home,” I more than suggested to her.
“I couldn’t even if I wanted to,” she said. Over a million folks evacuating the coast are on the highways heading west.
So Jaime will prepare the best she can, hunker down, and ride it out.
Storms assail no matter where we live, whether they be hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, mudslides, rainstorms, snowstorms, windstorms, or another natural disaster. At any place in the world, at any given time, disaster can strike. That doesn’t mean we live in fear or let worry consume us.
It means we do all we can to prepare, then hunker down and ride it out – and leave the outcome in God’s hands.
This goes for storms not of a physical nature, too – those emotional, mental, spiritual tempests. They can be circumstances, relationships, situations. Whatever the cause, they impact us profoundly and shatter our illusions of a smooth, easy sail through life.
Some storms, like hurricanes, we know are coming, so we can prepare. Some, like tornadoes or earthquakes, catch us unaware. But unaware doesn’t mean unprepared.
How can we prepare for the storms of life that are sure to come?
First, know they will come. No one is immune from the trials and tribulations that assail our existence on this planet. Even Jesus assured us, “In the world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). In the same statement, He gave us a way to cope: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.” Are you in Him?
Second, stock up on the essentials. Just like the folks preparing for the storm stock up on food and water, so, too, stock up on the Bread of Life and the Living Water (John 6:35 and John 4:10, 14) to keep your spirit strong. Do this by filling your mind and heart with His Word. Like the bread and water you consume physically is broken down and its nutrients absorbed by the body, so the words of The Word are absorbed into your mind and heart to nourish your spirit.
Third, make sure you have an alternate source of power. In a physical storm, the chances of losing power increase in proportion with the strength of the storm. So fresh batteries are on the stock-up list. So, too, with your spiritual storms. You know where the Source of Power is – God – and that Power will never go out. All you have to do is plug into it through prayer. Ask for strength, courage, wisdom, and whatever else you need to weather the storm.
Jesus told us to ask and we will receive (Matthew 7:7). That’s why it’s important to consume the Word so that it will abide in you and you can draw on its strength and power when you need it.
Fourth, just like folks prepare for the storm by barricading their windows, so, too, barricade your spirit with the protection only God can give. He Himself is a shield around you (Psalm 3:3). His are the wings under which you find refuge (Psalm 91:4). His angels have charge over you (Psalm 91:11).
Finally, hunker down with trust. Trust that, like Jesus knew His disciples were fighting the wind and the waves, God knows the tempest you’re facing. And like Jesus came to His disciples in the midst of the storm, so He will come to you. Indeed, He never left you (Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20).
Let His command to the wind and the waves, “Peace! Be still!” reverberate in your mind and heart, and settle in your spirit.
Facing a storm? Prepare the best you can, hunker down, then ride it out, remembering God Himself is with you in the midst of your storm.
When storms assail, remind me, dear Lord, that You are all I need to survive them. Amen.