Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Three Words to Remember

Venice Beach, California
June 2012
Mark 4:39 KJV
"And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."

Venice Beach looked like a setting from a collection of picture postcards the day Allie and I saw it with our friends.

Sunlight glistened off sailboat masts, teens skateboarded, joggers shared narrow paths with bicyclists, and surfers strolled over hot sand carrying surf boards to the waves. Street performers entertained crowds, barkers called out to view eeiry displays hidden behind curtained walls, and the rich aromas of restaurants mingled with sea breezes dancing past us.

In contrast, Tropical Storm Debby is currently making her ominous presence felt in Florida and Georgia. Trees bend to her will, bands of rain create flood waters, and tornadoes have destroyed lives.

Yet it is precisely in an environment similar to this where Jesus displayed his power over the elements of nature. In the matter of three words, "Peace, be still" he caused the storm to cease.

Christ spoke with majesty and authority. He is powerful and on my side! He loves me. He will look out for me.  He can bring that same peace to my stormy soul. 

Three words for me to remember: "Peace, be still!" 

It seems so easy, but I will have to work on it every day.
Lord, help me look to you when I get upset. You can bring peace into my life if I allow you.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Tree

Palm Trees Line the Streets of Beverly Hills
June 2012

2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

My daughter, Allison, and I ran away from home for three weeks. We hid out at our friends' home in Los Angeles.

While exploring the area, we drove to Beverly Hills. It seemed each street we turned down was picture perfect. Neatly landscaped yards opened to impressive cottages of stone and mason work. Streets were lined with tall, straight palms.  We gasped as we drove down Rodeo Drive past the opulent shops opening for the day.  Again, palms dotted our path.

As we turned back to our hosts' home, we passed through West Hollywood where a small tree on the right side of the road was being planted and propped up with stakes.  In a few years, this tree will be as straight and tall and healthy as the ones we just saw in Beverly Hills, I mused.

Those stakes will allow the tree's roots to latch into the soil and grow deep and wide. In the weak condition it's currently in, it could fall over in a storm if not supported.

I understand the tree.

Still weak from the loss of Russell,  I am also in danger of falling over in a severe storm, but prayers from others prop me up until I can grow stronger roots. 

Until then, I have faith that in my weakness, Christ's power lifts me up.
Lord, Thank you for the lesson of the tree. I hope to grow strong and healthy once more through your grace.