Wind and rain have combined with Hurricane Florence’s slow 5 mph speed dumping over twenty-four inches of rain in some areas at the site of landfall. We in Upstate South Carolina have been experiencing gusty winds this morning into afternoon. The heavy rains are predicted to hit tonight with rainfall totals anywhere from six to ten inches. The wind gusts are expected to be somewhere around 50 mph. I’ve been sitting on my porch swing watching the leaves and trees being whipped at times by the wind; dark clouds have appeared all around us, but have not come over us yet. Knowing what high winds have done to us before, we’ve put outdoor items that might become projectiles in out-of-the-way places. I’ve just made rice to combine with cold beans if the power should go out. We have plenty of bread, peanut butter, and jelly when all else fails. So, I guess we are in a wait and see pattern now. I keep thinking about making a pan of brownies just in case; I haven’t dismissed that idea at present; chocolate soothes my soul.
John 3:8 The Voice
“The wind blows all around us as if it has a will of its own; we feel and hear it, but we do not understand where it has come from or where it will end up. Life in the Spirit is as if it were the wind of God.”
In John 3:8, the Spirit of God is compared to the wind; felt and heard, not knowing when or where or how little or how much, and having a destination unknowable. Though we are to trust the Holy Spirit, there is fear, fear as in understanding His Mighty Power as well as believing in His Blessed Mercy and Grace.
Amos 4:13 The Living Bible
“For you are dealing with the One who formed the mountains, made the winds, and knows your every thought; he turns the morning to darkness and crushes down the mountains underneath his feet: Jehovah, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, is his name.”
Mark 4:39 Modern English Version
“He rose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” Then the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are termed the Trinity, three in one, all God. It is not an easy concept to wrap my head around.
I can relate to the inner winds that toss my heart, mind, and soul, into hurricanes one minute, thunderstorms the next, and gentle cooling breezes when I am calm and still, which is a rare and unusual state for me.
Looking at this I am struck by the brute strength of the hurricanes and thunderstorms within me. When I am fighting myself or someone else, I think I am in control, I want to be in control, so I roar, lash out, scream, until I crash into an exhausted heap crying and berating myself.
Psalm 46:10 Easy-to-Read Version
God says, “Stop fighting and know that I am God!
I am the one who defeats the nations;
I am the one who controls the world.”
I like both versions here.
Psalm 46:10 The Voice
“Be still, be calm, see, and understand I am the True God.
I am honored among all the nations.
I am honored over all the earth.”
But how do I stop fighting? I am never still or calm! Even with medication I am not cured, I still fight within and without, I hardly know what it is to be calm and still. Is there no hope for me? I try and try and try again; I fail. I try and try and try again; I fail others. I try and try and try again; other’s lack of trust in me stabs my heart and I bleed a little more each time.
In Your Word, Lord, the Holy Spirit, when in control of one’s life, produces fruit. I have enjoyed the taste of a few of these fruits; but I know and You know I have not relinquished control; I want to do it my way; even knowing my way never leads me down the path of righteousness.
I want to let go, I want to give it all up to You, Lord. I am so very tired of handling things my way and getting beat up from the inside out; I’m the one giving and getting the beating.
Please help turn the winds of my world into cool gentle breezes. I ask this most humbly in Your Almighty Powerful Name. Amen
Galatians 5:22 The Living Bible
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.
I particularly like the following version.
Galatians 5:22-23 The Message
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
The Serenity Prayer
Written by Reinhold Neibuhr (1892-1971)
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
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