“He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul.”
—Psalm 23: 2-3
Last week, after practicing how to remain peaceful, I woke up to discover such an encouraging testimony that was just submitted.
Of course, it made my day so bright and I just thought what a wonderfully peaceful day this will be! That’s when I noticed (after being up for almost an hour; after waking up singing a song about being “Happy”), I heard a loud pop, saw a flash of lightning and our home began to rumble. I found out that a storm had been raging for hours! Yet, I felt completely safe and what amazed me is that I had slept right through it! Even after I woke up, for over an hour, I was clueless to what was happening outside.
Both Matthew and Mark give us an account of what happened when our Heavenly Brother slept through a storm—a storm so massive that threatened to drown everyone on board the ship He was on. Before reading what I’ve got to say, take a moment to read these accounts first and ask your Heavenly Father to point out what He wants to show you.
When I read it, He first pointed out that when Matthew begins his account of what happened, he says that His disciples “followed Him into the boat.” He reminded me that each of us have chosen to follow our Heavenly Father, totally “in love” with Him, and as His, we want to be willing to go no matter where He takes us, and no matter what means of transportation He chooses to get us there along our RJ “Restoration Journey.”
Then when I read Mark’s version of the same story, he gives us even more information as he explains why they were in the boat… “Jesus suggested they cross over to the other side of the lake.”
Traveling along our own restoration journey, though we often prefer to stay put, especially when where we are is finally comfortable and calm, the last thing we want to do is to move to the other side of the comfort we have begun to enjoy. Yet, may I say that what He has ahead for you and me is always going to be better than what He’s asking us to leave behind.
Today in the testimony submitted I mentioned above, I sat stunned when I read something it said, something He said while seeking His answers, which was the same thing He had told me almost a year ago!
How it came about was rather strange. There was a “treasure” box that was sitting next to my bed (while we were staying in a short term rental while in Florida visiting a few of my children). And inside was a fortune that said simply, “The best is yet to come” which is what I read in my email this morning. The praise report said, “I LISTENED TO YOU, ALWAYS GIVING ME ENCOURAGEMENT !!!! NOW IS MY TURN TO CHEER YOU UP!!! BE ENCOURAGED, THE BEST IS STILL COMING.”
Now I want to pass on something to each of you, because that’s what He wants you to know and be clear about…
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare [the health, happiness, and good fortunes of a person] and not for calamity, in order to give you a future and a hope.’” Another version says, “For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you [*how could you ever think that?]. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope”!
*By the way, I was who added [how could you ever think that?] because I chided myself for thinking it was He who was using others to speak to me, accusations that were painful. Why would He use someone else when every single morning, and every moment throughout my entire day, He is who I am speaking and listening to?! So why would He choose to “use” someone else to be unkind or harsh? When He said, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” I want you too, to consider and really ponder this truth!
Coming back to the point of this message, which is, if each night (or when you’re concerned about anything), you get away to be with your Heavenly Father (or Brother), so that even if there are storms raging all around you, even to the point when everyone else around you might become fearful, you can sleep calmly, safe in His arms, not even aware there IS a storm until you look out from your safety and notice the damage.
This is what He wants for us, right? So rather than run out into the storm, a storm that no one but HE can control, wait and even sleep inside where it’s warm and dry, curled up peacefully. At some point, you can be sure, He will rebuke and silence the storm, a storm that once appeared so dangerous.
It’s again time to STOP now (or make a date later) to selah what you’ve learned, in other words, meditate on everything. AND be sure that you just don’t think about what you’ve learned, but you set up a date with time with Him and ASK Him to share with you how this message applies to you and anything else you can ASK Him. Then sit quietly and listen to keep your love for Him alive by living like this daily.