Friday, December 14, 2007

External and Internal Storms

In the latter part of Paul's ministry, his is shipwrecked on the island of Malta south of Italy. The shipwreck occurred after fourteen days of 'hurricane-force winds'. The ships crew had literally tied the ship together by putting ropes around the hull. In the process of the fourteen days, they threw off all of the cargo that they were carrying, the anchors and even the lifeboat itself. I could only imagine how exhausted they all were... sea-sick so probably not able to eat or hold food down, lack of sleep, continually drenched, fearful... exhausted.

I'm sure that Paul was also probably sea-sick, tired and wet. He too was exhausted physically. But mentally, he had hope. He was told by God in a dream that he would go to Rome and he believed what he had dreamed. Although he was a prisoner being transported by Roman guards, he encouraged the others on the ship that they all would make it to safety. He had hope.

Beside external storms, we have internal storms. How often do we go through a day or a situation without hope that God will be there to help us through it? How often do we see the glass as half-empty instead of half-full with the 'poor me', 'everyone's against me' mentality?

In Paul's case with his external storm, he chose to trust in God even with all looked absolutely hopeless. His heart was at peace. Can we chose to trust in God with our internal storms? I think that we can and we must if we are to have true peace in our hearts. When you are thinking "everyone's against me", "I just am not progressing like I should", "I am being overlooked for my accomplishments" ... Where is the focus in these internal storms? I see 'I', 'me', 'my' as the focus. Should it rather be on God? If your not progressing in your job like you should, have you thanked God that you have a job in the first place? If your being overlooked at church for a position, are you thanking God that you have the ability to worship freely? If no one is calling you to just chat, have you made a call today to someone else to do the same?

Internal storms... Ones that we allow satan to create within us. They bring turmoil, exhaustion, sickness and even death if we allow. Reach out to God today with the hope that He will give you peace today. When an internal storm thought crosses your path, immediately push it aside and replace it with a praise to God. Turn it 180 degrees and make it a positive thought. It CAN be done but it takes a willing heart. That is where to start. I pray that you will start today...