“Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by renewing of your mind” ~~ Romans 12:2 (ESV).
We all have expectations of what our lives should look like, what we will or will not accomplish in life, what kinds of relationships we will or will not have, even how our lives should appear to others around us – our family, friends, and coworkers. We all have these expectations of ourselves, others, and even of God.
What happens, though, when one morning you arise to a beautiful sunrise, take in a deep exhilarating breath, smell the fresh mown grass, and hear the birds singing a new song; but then suddenly, without warning, a storm appears on the horizon and dark clouds close in on your heart. Fear grips your entire being and you desperately try to control everything around you in a vain effort to protect yourself. Meanwhile you are asking yourself, “What did I do? And what can I do to get relief so I do not feel this anxiety, abandonment, rejection, pain, and loss?”
As the storm intensifies, you become overwhelmed in a massive wave of fear, and you gasp as if you cannot breathe. Your legs are now so heavy that you are unable to take another step. Your body is spent, and your mind races. You ask yourself, “What will others think? Why is this happening to me? How will I ever survive? Can I even tell anybody about this?”
Has this ever happened to you? If so, how did you cope, and where did you go for answers? Maybe you ran and hid for fear that if anyone knew the true story about you or who you really were they would not accept, love, or even value you as a person ever again?
But let’s look at it from a different perspective. What if, when the storms came and the waves raged, you took another approach? What if you grabbed your bible and mediated on the following scripture: “Peace, be still!” (Mark 4:39).
Do you believe that His Word would help you have peace in the midst of the storm? Yes, it takes faith to believe this to be true. How much better to respond in faith instead of blindly believing the lies of the enemy that all is lost and we are undone?
In John 16:33 we read, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Herein lies the biblical answer for you and me when we’re faced with the storms of life. Even as these storms approach (and certainly they will), we need to recognize them for what they are, and through renewing our minds, respond biblically, trusting in the Lord, His Word, and praying in faith. Do you believe you can have a more godly response when anxiety strikes? Do you believe that peace can and will reign over fear in your life?
What if you were willing to meet each obstacle that appeared on the horizon of your daily life with a steadfastness – a determined choice to focus the very core of your being on His command: “Peace, be still!”
I believe that once the storm passes, you will then be left with a unique set of eclectic shells that have surfaced from your storm… shells of amazing gifts that have been buried deep within your being… shells that have finally awakened parts or even all of your body that have been sleeping for far too long… shells of hope, of peace, of the expectation that God has a GOOD PLAN for your life. For nothing happens to us without the Lord seeing, knowing, understanding, and bringing loveliness and purpose out of the trial. He has expressly designed shells just for your journey, shells that tell an amazing story of God’s love and care in the midst of the trial of your faith. What if the next person in your sphere of influence needs your shell?
Let’s not surrender territory to the enemy that does not belong to him. Let’s trust what we read in the Word. Let’s cast ALL our cares upon the Lord and ask Jesus to sustain us. Let’s internalize the knowledge of who we as Christians really are – through the mind of Christ. And finally, let’s believe that despite our storm, our shortcomings, and fears… He sees us as His own!
Prayer for today: “Father, my heart desperately wants to believe and trust in Your goodness despite my external circumstances. Father, help me rewrite my narrative. I give you my dreams, those false expectations, and the lies that I believed for a season. Forgive me. Help me to trust in You and receive Your peace, joy, and love in exchange for the enemy’s lies. Father help me to embrace my dark night. For surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” ~~ Psalms 23:6.