Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Revive Thy Work O Lord"1 (Lyrics)
A severe thunderstorm in our area last autumn caused me great concern. It was the periphery of a tropical storm on the eastern seaboard, and there were warnings of extremely high winds. Around 1:30 a.m., I was still awake, even anxious about our windows withstanding the powerful gusts that battered our home. My husband is a night owl, and he was blissfully unconcerned about the turmoil outside. Wearing earphones, he was engrossed in a good movie.
I chided myself for having little faith, but the fear was strong. So I sat on the end of our bed and prayed, first apologizing to God for being weak and asking Him to renew my faith. Right away, I heard the words, "Fear not", and was comforted. Just as I gave my thanks, I heard two loud cracks outside, followed by a very loud thump. But I was not afraid. I went to the room where my husband still sat, earphones now removed since he had heard the thump. We looked outside and all we could see was tree. An outdoor check determined that the house was sound, and amazingly, within minutes, the winds abated.
It was a 40-foot blue spruce that had broken at a fork and had fallen down alongside our house, neatly tucked between our garage and garden shed, even missing our barbecue. A rose-bearing trellis was broken, but the rose survived. The tree-removal man was amazed that there was no damage, saying that we were very lucky. But of course, I knew that luck had no part in it. God had shown His amazing power with a huge exclamation point, right after reminding me what it means to have faith. Then He followed it up with a lull in the storm — His wonderful peace.
In much the same way as earthly parents do, God our Father shows His children the way, gives us instructions, shows us where to find answers, tells us that He will be there when needed, and then sets us free to live our lives and make our own decisions. But only God the Father can assure His children that He will fix the problems we face. He will, He can, and He does. He asks only that we trust Him. When we finally get it, He rewards us. God solved my problem of anxiety over lack of faith by telling me not to fear. His reward was illustrating — in real time, up front and personal — how even a major, potentially dangerous event could still be controlled by Him so as not to cause me harm.
Philippians 4:4,6-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Father Lord, thank You for understanding our weaknesses, for forgiving them, and for tenderly and sometimes mightily showing us how to correct them. In order for us to truly understand what faith means, we ask that You continue to show us the way. Amen.