Psalm 3:2-3 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.
Well, this has been an interesting week! So much to do, so little time, so many changing stories. For those who don’t know we are in West Palm Beach, and up until this morning, hurricane Irma was looking to hit in the worst place possible for us. I’m exhausted just thinking about all we have done this week to prepare.
I feel really terrible that I haven’t posted in almost a week. I’ve started several, and just couldn’t concentrate enough to finish. I’m so sorry!
Honestly, I haven’t really been able to concentrate on anything..except of course news updates and hurricane prep. Even my morning prayer time has suffered. Which is not good. In fact, I don’t think I’ve read more than my verse of the day from God’s Word until today.
Why do I do that? How can I exclaim God to be my Father, my Protector, my Provider, my Savior, and then in the face of the storm, choose to focus on the waves instead of his voice? Why is it so hard for me to go to him when I am afraid?
This happens to be an actual storm, but I have a tendency to do this is the storms of life too. Whenever I know I am about to face a scary situation, I turn every direction, usually in panic and worry, except to God. I research. I look for information, any bit of knowledge that will help me find a solution, or some bit of evidence that I can make it through. The last place I go is to my Lord. The last place I look for provision from is my Provider.
Why do I do this?
Now that prep is all done, we have been able to relax (sort of) as we wait for wherever this moody Irma chic decides to let her emotions carry her. I finally went to God with all my fears. I finally decided to take my Savior’s hand and let him carry me through this instead of obsessively trying to prepare for every possibility.
Something God sort of laid on my heart today is just how much I am like this crazy storm. Much like Hurricane Irma’s track seems to shift with the slightest change, I let influences outside of Christ drive me, often changing direction and shifting my desires all over the place.
Specifically, with this hurricane, but also in the storms of life, there are two culprits that seem to keep yanking my leash every which. Yes I said leash, because they seem to have a ridiculous amount of control over me.
The first is emotion. I let fear, anger, pride, sometimes even happiness lead me in my decision-making. While there is a time and a place for gut instinct decisions, my emotions should not be the deciding factor in choices I make. God’s Word, his voice needs to lead me. The more we listen to him, the more our heart (our emotions) will line up with his leading. Letting emotions be in the driver’s seat though, not a good idea.
I had to make a choice earlier this week, stay or go. Stay, put my family in danger, IF the storm happens to follow the current track, or….waste endless time and resources that I don’t have trying to escape to family in Maryland. Not to mention finding the money to drive all the way back. Until today, I was so afraid I made the wrong choice by staying. I let the fear of not having the provision lead my decision to stay. Even now, my relief in the changing course, not God’s peace, is what’s driving me to relax. If I’m honest, I took a gamble on this one, out of fear. I didn’t go to God, I let my emotions drive this train.
The second is the opinion of others. I find it amazing that during a time when so many people are panicking, people have the nerve to say things like, God is punishing you people, and I hope it kills them all, or Stop praying, God’s not going to save you, and This is Darwinism, taking out the trash.
Let’s just say these types of comments are pretty discouraging when you’re already fearing the worst. How about the media on this? Good grief it’s a serious storm, but the only level-headed updates I’ve seen are from the local Florida stations. I tried watching CNN and Fox, those people make this thing out to be certain death for everyone. It’s ridiculous. But I keep watching anyway, because it’s like crack to me right now. Just can’t seem to get enough of it.
For me, even more than all the negativity is the fear that, hey if something did happen to us down here, would anyone even care? Besides my parents, I haven’t had a single person express concern for us. It shouldn’t matter, but somehow it does. It feels like I don’t matter. I have been tempted to post something about it on social media, just to see if anyone responded, to feel like my life mattered to someone. Which is super childish.
As I was thinking about this, I felt God speaking to me. This is a really big issue for me, and it also drives waaaaay to many of my decisions. My people pleasing, always trying to gain approval from those around me. I definitely grade my worth on the opinions of others. And unfortunately their opinions tend to be a factor in choices I make as well.
It has certainly had an effect on my mood this week. The doom and gloom of all the news updates and comments as well as the idea planted in my mind that no one really cares anyway has made me, well, less than pleasant during all this prep work. In reality, it’s affected far more than my mood. I really think that taking my eye off of Christ this week has been the key reason I’ve had so much trouble going to him and listening for his voice. I think it’s always the reason, no matter what type of storm it is.
But ya know what? I am God’s daughter, and I am loved and protected by my Father. I am like this storm, not because I am driven by emotions, but because I am strong and powerful (only hopefully, much less destructive). I was created with a purpose and a destiny, and one that can only be fulfilled when I stop frantically trying to keep the waves at bay and reach for hand of Christ.
It took me a week of going crazy with worry to snap back to the reality of this, but it’s not just my story. It’s yours too. You were created in God’s image and are loved by him deeply. You have a destiny ready to be fulfilled, if only you’ll stop focusing on the storm.
Will you join me in overcoming the swaying of worldly influences? Will you listen to the only voice that matters?
Thanks for reading guys, I am really sorry I’ve been on hiatus this week. I doubt we’ll have power into next week, so this may be the last you hear from me for a while. But please know many of you are in my daily prayers and I’m looking forward to spending a massive amount of hours catching up on your posts when this is all over!