Friday, Janucar 22, 2016 and I’m contentedly sitting in my house preparing for the first big winter storm of the season here. I’ve got my lanterns ready and my strategy is just to stay put. I made a run yesterday to get my hair done (hey a gal’s got a look good) and did pick up a gallon of milk while I was out. Walmart was busy but not crazy while I was there. I watched as shopper after shopper strolled by with their buggies piled high as if this storm were going to last an eternity. My first thought was… it’s three days people. We’ll make it… But I don’t know their circumstances, perhaps they may not see sunshine until Valentine’s day. Who am I to judge? But it did make me think.

People are so concerned about temporal storms. And yes, they’re bad. I don’t want to make light of them. But where is the cognitive skills when it comes to eternity. They’ve ignored the warnings on that one for a long time. Eternity comes into view at the funeral of a loved one but fades from most minds as they exit the funeral parlor. Many funerals have become “life celebrations” with no gospel at all because it’s “too hard on the family.” Why I’m stuck on the serious note today, I don’t know… but the storm preparation yesterday really made it as heavy on my mind as the forecasted snow will be on the roof tops. And I pray that someone reading this will take my message to heart as they’re hold up in the house this weekend; and spend that time preparing for a storm of a more serious matter.

Luke 8:23-25

But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.

That question “Where is your faith?” breaks my heart for so many who don’t understand the concept of faith. Their faith is believing that they believe, not knowing what they believe. Wow, that’s either a pretty deep thought, or I’ve just confused myself. But it’s true! Ask them about their faith and they’re fine… but ask them to define it and the conversation usually takes a detour. The disciples knew their friend Jesus was in the boat, but they didn’t know God was. They were pretty sure He could do something, but they weren’t sure what. So when He spoke to the storm and the winds and water obeyed him they were shocked!

Before they left the shore if they’d have been ask about their faith it would have been fine, but when the storm hit…where was there faith then? I want to ask my friends and family who say they’re “fine” and yet there’s no proof in the puddin’, the same question. Frustration mounts as I see storms ahead of them and I know they’re not prepared. When I do bring the subject up it’s as if I’ve slapped them in the face. How dare I question their salvation? How dare I not?

Okay, so you say you’re fine…

Then why isn’t God in control of your storm? We’ll all have storms, that’s life. But there is a drastic difference in boat ride for someone who knows what they believe, and for those who just believe that they believe but aren’t really sure what that means.

You know Jesus? Yay!!!! If you do. I’m not going to take that away from you and say that because you don’t give me evidence of it you don’t know Him…. But…. That lack of evidence means your faith is in need of rescuing. And not for my sake (although I’ll love it) but for your own. When your child gets on your last nerve and you’re about to jump overboard, Jesus can calm that storm like that (did you hear my finger snap). When you’re up to your eyeballs in debt and a bill collector just took your eye glasses and you can’t see any hope before you, Jesus thrives on giving His people hope. When the news is bad and the prognosis is worse, Jesus can shush the voices of fear. You may be setting in sunny weather, but when the storm hits you need to be prepared.

Preparing for a storm is making sure that your child knows Jesus so that the Holy Spirit can speak to their little heart and help you help them. Get your faith in order as a family. Preparing for a financial storm would have worked better if we’d never get financially strapped to start with, but it happens. Knowing Christ won’t erase poor decisions, but He will guide you every step of the way back out and calm many storms that can take you under without Him involved. Get your faith in order. Bad news may have had nothing to do with any decision you made, but resting in Christ will take a load off your already worn out state of mind. He is so faithful!

Saying you know Him isn’t enough to get you through the storm. You need to know you know Him. Where is your faith? Are you in need of rescue?

Get out your Bible… read the instruction manual.

Go to Church… There’s safety in numbers. Well, maybe not today…

Get the lines of communication open… talk to God.

I love you… God loves you more.

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