Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In the Valley

God protected me in the recent thunderstorms and turbulent weather, and I am so very thankful to Him for that.  I truly do dwell in the promises of Psalm 91.

And yet there is an unsettled feeling.  God is doing something deep within my heart that is not entirely comfortable.  In fact, it is downright painful.  Many times I have asked Him to quiet this storm within me; the storm that rages and yet is unseen and unfelt by those around me, yet it continues.  I read somewhere once that sometimes God will quiet the storm you're in; but sometimes He quiets you and lets the storm rage around you.  I think He has chosen the latter for me. 

So here I am, once again, trying really hard to be still, to let Him quiet me in the storm. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our Bulwark

"A mighty fortress is our God; a bulwark never failing...."

It is another stormy night here in tornado alley.  Outside, the wind is howling, the thunder rumbling, and the rain pouring.  On the heels of a disastrous killer tornado in Joplin, MO just last night, here comes yet another storm.  It is very tempting to panic.  It would be perfectly understandable to be afraid when all alone during a violent storm.  

Except that I'm not alone.  Jesus is with me every second of every day.  Instead of giving in to fear, I turn to the Bible, God's word, and there I find strength:

"When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.  In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid." Psalm 56:3,4.  

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!'.... 
He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. 
You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; 
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you." Psalm 91:1-7

Know what a bulwark is?  We had this discussion while singing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" one time at praise team practice.  I looked it up:  


1. a wall of earth or other material built for defense; rampart.
2. any protection against external danger, injury, or annoyance.
3. any person or thing giving strong support or encouragement in time of need, danger, or doubt.

When I watched the movie Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, I got a visual for what a bulwark was.  At one point, they were hidden away in the stronghold, which was cut into the mountain and reinforced with stone. I suddenly realized that is essentially what God does for us when we trust in Him.  He hides us away, safe in His stronghold.

This is how I get through tough times.  I am a big chicken. I get afraid, just like lots of others do. I have no courage on my own. I just know where to go:  I run to my Father's arms and wait out the storm.  He has never failed me.  He never will. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Zoe Ann

I haven't written in a while.  In fact, it looks like I skipped April entirely.  There's a reason for that.  College classes were keeping me busy, along with work and church.  But the big thing that April 2011 will be remembered for is...little.  Zoe Ann, my first grandchild, was born 3 weeks early on April 21, 2011.  She weighed 5 lb., 12 oz. and was 18 1/2 inches long.  Tiny and cute, and in perfect health, thank God.
I dropped everything and drove up to where my daughter lives when she called and said she was in labor.  She had a C-section, since Zoe was frank breech and couldn't be delivered safely by the natural means, therefore I wasn't there yet when she was born.  I got there around 30 minutes after they had finished with the intense exam they give preemie babies, so I got to hold her almost as soon as anyone did.  I stayed a week to help out, then returned home.  I just got back home from a quick trip up there--roughly 24 hours from start to finish.  I'll go back every chance I get. In fact, I'm going in a couple of weeks for Memorial Day and stay a couple of days.

Being a grandmother--"Mimi," we decided--is wonderful.  I just wish we all lived closer together.  My family is too spread out.  
Thank God for weekends and a reliable car.