Where Did This Storm Come From?

 Hurricane Harvey just barged through Texas and now Irma is slamming  Florida. Then there are the wild fires out West.  Do you wonder where God is in all this destruction?

Some are of the opinion that one should never question God.  They feel is shows a lack of faith and is a sign of weakness. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with asking, but we should be careful not to blame Him.

When we were in the first stages of  training our little children, we tried to instill in them the importance of obeying without question.  They didn’t have any experience to draw proper conclusions and they needed to trust us as their parents to know what was best for them.

But I was always excited when they really began seriously thinking about things and asking questions about the reasons why we did what we did.  To me it was a sign of intelligence.  Another result was as they began to understand why, they could apply that information to help them in other areas of life.

I know God is a way better “parent” than I’ll ever be, but I think we can sometimes use our relationship with our own children as an analogy of our relationship with Him. Jesus did when He was trying to describe God’s love for us.  He asked in Matthew 7:11, If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

So back to what is going on… Some would say God is judging our nation for the moral decline and general disregard for the principles found in His Word, the Bible. I’m not sure, but there are some things I am very sure about.

  1. Man, not God, is responsible for bad things entering the world.  By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:12)

God created a perfect world and it was man who messed it all up by sinning against God.  God has been redeeming our messes ever since.

I was following in my car as my son, Nathan, was riding his motorcycle into town today.  I was enjoying riding down this quiet, country road until I suddenly remembered driving on it yesterday.  There was quite a bit of debris strewn across the road that had fallen from a truck. Immediately I thought of all the dangerous scenarios for Nathan on his bike. Should I blow my horn to warn him? No, that might scare him. Should I call him? No, he couldn’t answer his cell while riding his motorcycle.  Then I realized that the debris had been in an open area and could be easily seen and avoided. I also realized I can’t warn Nathan of every hazard every time he gets behind the wheel/ handlebars.  And this was good practice for the next time something is in the road that shouldn’t be there.

Did God cause that debris to be in the road? No. It was there because of some irresponsible human being.  It wasn’t God’s fault. And whether I am a good person or a bad person, I am affected by it.  That is just life in this world.

2. God loves us and made a way to mend our broken relationship caused by sinBy the righteousness of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)

God loved us so much He gave Jesus, His sinless Son, to die and buy back everyone who ever lived and will live.  A God that loves His creation that much would not take pleasure in watching it suffer.


The people of Nineveh were wicked and God could have zapped them, but He lovingly sent Jonah to warn them of judgement because He wanted them to repent of their evil. They did repent and God was pleased that they, along with the animals, were spared. (Jonah 4:11)

However, if Nineveh had not repented, they would have had to suffer the consequences.  And be sure your sin will find you out. (Numbers 32:23)  We can choose our sin, but we can’t choose our consequences.

God doesn’t like seeing us suffer anymore than we like to suffer.  The fact is, all of us, whether righteous or unrighteous, are living in a fallen world.  God makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends the rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matt. 5:45)

3.  God can, and often does, bring good from terrible circumstances.

4. We will never go through anything alone. I will never leave thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

5. Hardships give us a heart to help others in trouble and we are more likely to seize those opportunities when we can relate to their suffering.

Instead of just asking, Why? the better question is, God, where are You in all of this? If we ask that question, we are more likely to have a better attitude, learn to be more like Christ and will glorify God in our trials and tribulations. We should think about how Jesus would respond to the pain in this world and try to emulate Him. I think this is how we can overcome evil with good and find God in the midst.

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

My grandson, Destin- June 2017

Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus

 

I don’t like storms. The thunder and lightening isn’t so bad, but when the wind begins to bend the trees, I start getting uncomfortable.

Yesterday while I was outside, all of the sudden, the sky darkened and the trees started bowing in the wind. I knew a storm was on the way and my heart beat faster.  It reminded me of a day about fifteen years ago.

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We had just moved to our house in the hollow.  There was a dry creek in the back of our house that only had water in it when it rained.  Then it would fill as the water drained from the surrounding hills to join with a creek in the front of our house.

Tornado warnings and several inches of rain was in the weather forecast that day. In the afternoon, the skies became angry looking as the wind whipped through the valley.  Soon the hard rains came.  In a matter of minutes that babbling brook transformed into a raging river and I panicked.

This was the first time I had seen water rise so quickly. There is a bridge that separates our house from the road.  I knew if the flood waters left its banks, we were trapped.   I tried to call my husband at work, but he had already been instructed to leave his desk  for safety and this was before we had cell phones.

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Nathan touching a critter in the creek that looked like a rock.

My children were ages 2, 6, 8, and 10 and I began to envision us floating away in our house! So I did probably the stupidest thing ever. I got the children in coats, grabbed some crackers and peanut butter, and we dashed out into the rain, thunder, and lightening to aclimb the steep hill behind our house and huddled under a large tree!

Yes, it was a dumb idea, but I don’t think clearly when I’m panicking. I was prepared for us to be there for hours. I have to say, we had a good view of the water activity below. The storm left about as quickly as it had arrived. We had more than three inches of rain in less than fifteen minutes.  The waters crested, left its banks, then receded.

I can laugh about it now, but it sure wasn’t funny at the time.  It was one of the scariest times in my life!  Sometimes anxiety can rise in my heart just as quickly as the creek waters rose that day when I begin to focus on my problems and take my eyes off Jesus.

When I think about the sad affairs of our deteriorating society and country and what my children and grandchildren might face, I become anxious.  Just as I didn’t know then how high the waters would rise  before the clouds dropped the last rain, sometimes  I wonder how bad my problems will get before they get better. Then I begin to worry because I’m focusing on the cares of this life more than I am the Author of it.

Sometimes instead of God removing the storm around us, He chooses to calm the storm within us.

If I spend too much time thinking about my problems, I just get worked up. Worrying is like rocking in a chair. It takes a lot of energy, but gets you nowhere. But if I will lean into Jesus and draw closer to Him during these times, my faith is strengthened as I trust Him and watch Him provide.

I’d like to share some verses from God’s Word, the Bible, that help calm my troubled heart….

  • Thou (God) wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee (God): because he trusteth in thee.  Isaiah 26:3
  • Through God we shall do valiantly. Psalm 60:12
  • But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:19
  • It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.  Psalm 18: 32, 33
  • Call upon me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3
  • I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. Psalm 121: 1, 2
  • Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7
  • What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. Psalm 56:3
  • Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you. I Peter 5:7

If the storm is raging around you right now, I hope you aren’t trying to weather it alone. God loves you and His grace is sufficient to get you through it. Run to Him. He is truly the safest place in this world.

May we keep our eyes on Jesus today,

Gaye Hughes

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