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Archive for September, 2017

Dear Friends,

Why does it take a storm of hurricane Irma’s magnitude for our country to get on our knees and pray to God for mercy? I found myself asking God, “Why don’t you just dissolve the storm? You’re God. You can do this.” Then right after I asked God that question in prayer (and almost with an attitude of entitlement), I received a picture from a friend of a beach in Florida that was filled with people—on Good Friday. The picture next to it was of a church filled with people praying, today, asking God to have mercy on them. I’m not excluding myself from this behavior. I grew up going to the beach on Holy Week in Nicaragua—all week. Even growing up as Christians, going to the beach house during this week off was the thing to do, instead of praising God for the amazing gift of salvation. It seems like we, humans, forget we need God in the good times too. Those are our best opportunities to get on our knees and thank God for everything that He’s done for us—most importantly for sending Jesus to die for us on the cross so we could have eternal life.

Then I remembered this Scripture on Isaiah 55: 8-9 (NLT):

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

You see, I was only focusing on the natural, the huge storm coming our way to destroy the homes and cities of the loved ones who live there. But I wasn’t thinking of the bigger picture. What the devil intends for bad (for destruction), God can turn it for good (for people coming in unity and praying together for each other). For some of us, it takes a natural storm in life, like a natural disaster, or a devastating event in our lives (like a death in the family, an illness, or a divorce) for us to give our lives to Jesus.

I remembered the Scriptures that promise us that God will never leave us nor forsake us, regardless of whatever is going on in our lives—whether that is a natural disaster or a life event. God told Joshua these words after Moses died, in Joshua 1:5 (NLT), “For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.” I was also reminded that we are to praise the Lord during the storms in life. Acts 16:25 (NLT) says, 25Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. “Midnight” is always representative of our darkest hour and, during that time, when Paul and Silas were in prison (being innocent) they were praising God. Then there was an earthquake and the prison doors opened and their chains came undone. God does indeed work in mysterious ways. God asks us to pray and praise Him at all times—the good times and the worst times in our lives—because He knows we need to. We need Him.

Psalm 34:17-18 (NLT) gives us this promise, 17The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. 18The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Wow, what amazing promises these are for all of us.

Lastly, let’s not forget to reach out to our loved ones in the good times too. We shouldn’t have to wait for a storm to threaten their lives to call them or text them to tell them we’re thinking of them. That’s a practice I started doing a long time ago. Whenever I think of a friend or relative, in that very moment, I send them a text, or leave them a voice message or email. I let them know I’m thinking of them or praying for them. I always get a response from that person so appreciative of that special touch. Most of the time, they needed prayers or encouragement at that time.

Today, in the midst of the natural storms, let’s continue to pray together as a nation for God to have mercy on our country and for God to protect our friends and families in the States that are affected. Let’s not forget the people in Houston who are still dealing with the devastating effects of hurricane Harvey and also for all the little islands that are destroyed. We are all always at risk of potential tragedy. But our God is a big, sovereign God and He knows all things. When we don’t understand why things happen in the natural, God always has a higher way. He has a reason and a purpose that goes beyond our understanding. Just as with natural storms, the sun always comes out after it, and it will again after all of these hurricanes. Let’s not lose hope and believe that God is in control.

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