Thursday, February 9, 2017

Daily Encouragement: Counselor’s Corner by Stephanie R. Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC : Being Still When the Storms of Life Pass By


Being still is an act of faith when “storms” blow your way.


Our normal reaction to when “storms” come our way is panic, fear, and anxiety. Recall the story in Matthew 4 that discussed how Jesus and His disciples got on a boat to get across the Sea of Galilee, and Jesus fell asleep when the winds and waves came crashing into their boat. Jesus remained asleep during the turbulent storm, but remember how the disciples got panic-stricken and their hysteria awoke the sleeping Jesus. What did Jesus do? He calmly commanded the wind and the waves to,” Be quiet and still.” Was this account a lesson that we can gain further from? Yes, Jesus wants us to remain calm until our “storm” passes by trusting Him completely-even when or even if__________________ (you fill in the blank). I believe the lesson for the disciples that day on the boat was Jesus teaching them to trust Him. Trusting Jesus when our lives and circumstances seem out of control takes discipline. The first few “storms” of life you very likely will react in fear or panic, but if you been through a few “storms” in life, you know Jesus is going to come through. You may not know how or when He will come through, but you have been through enough “storms” to know that reacting in worry, anxiety, and panic and fear NEVER, EVER work! You can testify, “been there, done that, ain’t going back!”

The “storms” we encounter in life can be likened to a tornado (which is a mix of problems all at once), a category 5 hurricane (this is major stuff like prodigal children, death, life threatening illness), flooding (the same problems that seem to go on and on), and thunderstorms (minor issues like sickness, stress-related work issues).

A very severe storm rolled through my town a few days ago bringing high winds, heavy rain, lightening and tornadoes. This storm lasted all day, but eventually this storm that seemed to never end eventually passed and the sun soon followed behind this massive storm. During this storm I took shelter, prayed, and waited the storm out. The “storms” in our lives will pass by quicker if we remain calm, and wait on the Lord to come to our rescue. Maybe you have a “storm” in your life that keeps coming back or one that does not leave. I understand I live with a “storm” that goes away but seems to come back. There can be peace in the midst of the storm. Take for instance paraplegic Joni Earkeson Tada who has been paralyzed from the shoulders down for 50 years, and yet it would appear her “storm” never left her. But what if she learned to “dance in the rain” Jesus does say we can have joy despite our deepest troubles, but I am also convinced that Jesus gives us times when He removes the “storms” even if it is just in our minds. In other words, the “storm” may still be physically present in your life but Jesus can give you moments where you don’t think about your “storm.”

Reflect and ponder: What is your typical reaction when the “storms” of life come your way? Fear, worry, doubt, anxiety, or panic? What do you believe Jesus would like you to do when “storms” come or even stay a while?

Counselor’s Corner:

How to remain still during the “storms” of life:

Definition of still: not moving; deep silence and calm.

1.      Remain still means not rehearsing, replaying, or rehashing your “storms” to every person you come in contact with. There is power in your words, learn to speak to your “mountains” instead about them-this releases our faith. God is moved when we react in faith. The more we talk about our problems the bigger they get. What we magnify whether good or bad is where our level of faith will stay at. Say to your mountain (your problem), “Be removed and cast into the sea.” (Matthew 21:21), believing in faith without doubting that your “storm” must move on.
2.      When any severe weather comes, usually we take shelter. We should do the same when “storms” of life come, run to our protector immediately! Ask for Abba Father’s protection and that He would cause your “storm” to dissipate. Ask the Lord to strengthen your spirit during the “storms,” and to work out for your good your “storm.”
3.      Worship. Give thanks. Praise. Offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving during and even after your “storm.” CHOOSE to magnify your blessings daily by either saying them verbally or writing them out.
4.      Speak the Word of God over your circumstances. Even if you have been praying for over a decade for a situation that seems insurmountable-press in and keep speaking the promises of God into those ‘dead, dry bones.” The prayers of the faithful go on and on even in eternity.

Don’t try and figure out how you can stop, change or move your “storm.” If a tornado was fast approaching your house would you run outside and try and stop that tornado? Of course not! This also applies to the “storms” in our lives, some of our “storms” can only be stopped, changed or moved by Jesus. Our job is not to stop our “storm,” but to run to The Shelter and ask Him for peace in the “storm”, to rescue us, and then we are to wait calmly for His rebuke to our “storm.”

JESUS CAN CALM YOUR STORM. PEACE, BE STILL and KNOW THAT HE IS GOD. GOD IS OVER EVERYTHING, EVEN THE RAGING STORMS.

MEDITATE ON THESE SCRIPTURES:

Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10
·         Remember the definition for still means not moved; deep silence and CALM.

He calms the storm, so that the waves are still.
Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven.
Psalm 107: 29-30

Truly my soul waits quietly for God; From Him comes my salvation.
He is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.
Psalm 62:1-2



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