Disaster Is Looming

 

Tornado aftermath in Henryville, IndianaThere are occasions when the meteorologist can forecast hurricanes and tornados because of incredible technology available to us. I remember seeing the leaves blow and turn over and I was told that a storm was coming. There are times when we can see disaster on the horizon. Some economist can make predictions about an economic disaster that is looming. There are people predict impending doom out of predictors that are happening. Moses was not predicting disaster on Egypt – he was warning them straight up about what is about to happen. Check this out…

4 So Moses said, ‘This is what the Lord says: “About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt – worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. 7 But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.” Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, “Go, you and all the people who follow you!” After that I will leave.’ Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh. (Exodus 11:4-8 NIV)

I can hardly put my head around what is about to happen. Moses is obviously frustrated and angry that this situation has reached this point. God has sent 8 other plagues to showcase His Power and His Presence. Pharaoh and his leadership team are ignoring what is going on, or they have super short-term memory. God is about to bring a massive disaster upon the land of Egypt. I am a Dad and I simply can’t imagine the pain that is about to be inflicted on Egypt. The loss of life in any disaster is painful, but in this case every single family will be dealing with the death of a family member. I have been convicted recently that I’ve been guilty of putting my family and my love for my family ahead of love for God. God doesn’t want me to love my family less, He just wants me to love Him more.

If I see or hear of disaster looming on the horizon, I should take precautions and make preparation. If there is a storm warning, I should take cover. If I feel in danger in my heart, I should make preparation. When disaster comes, I will keep holding on to the Hand that saved me in the first place and He will walk me through whatever I face. His Presence in the middle of a disaster or time of suffering is immeasurable. I will not let go of His hand even when everything is calm and I sure don’t intend to let go His hand in the middle of a disaster.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Moan & Groan

Young man suffering pain on his chest, isolated on whiteI think “moan and groan” might be related “whine and wail”. When I think of these words, the word anguish comes to mind. I’ve moaned and groaned in a state of desperation when my life was broken. I’ve whined and wailed in deep pain and struggle. These are not great places to be. I’ve since learned that to avoid being in these “places” requires a choice on my part. I must choose optimism and hope to see past my suffering and struggle. Besides all of that, the Lord can be honored in my struggle.

Ezekiel was prophesying what was about to come. His style was different than just speaking. Check this out…

6 “Son of man, groan before the people! Groan before them with bitter anguish and a broken heart. 7 When they ask why you are groaning, tell them, ‘I groan because of the terrifying news I have heard. When it comes true, the boldest heart will melt with fear; all strength will disappear. Every spirit will faint; strong knees will become as weak as water. And the Sovereign Lord says: It is coming! It’s on its way!’” (Ezekiel 21:6-7 NLT)

 

It sometimes blows my mind how the Lord can take a mess and make something so beautiful out of it. He hates sin but loves the sinner. He does some of His best work in me when I suffering deeply. It’s not a fun process, but I’m learning to hold on tight to Him as I navigate through the hardship and suffering. He doesn’t let my pain and struggle go to waste – He makes something good come out of it. Romans 8:28 comes to mind here. Check this out…

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (NIV)

 

Please don’t mistake moaning and groaning with griping and complaining. I am learning to lean on Him in the middle of every struggle, no matter how small or how large.

I can do everything through Christ Who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Hope Has A Name

hope erase fearThere are some days that I just need hope. I mean I need a sliver of hope. I can get so discouraged and beat down that I can’t seem to get my head up. I really hate getting so down and so discouraged, but sometimes my circumstances scream louder at me than the hope deep inside. I’ve learned over the years to “go with what I know until my feelings catch up”. I believe that the Lord has me in the middle of my darkest night. I don’t always “feel” Him close, but I “know” He’s here. Jeremiah was speaking of this type of discouragement and despair in Lamentations. Check this out….

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,

    the bitterness and the gall.

20 I well remember them,

    and my soul is downcast within me.

21 Yet this I call to mind

    and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

    for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning;

    great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion;

    therefore I will wait for him.’

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,

    to the one who seeks him;

26 it is good to wait quietly

    for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:19-26 NIV)

 

In my life, I’ve been through some really dark valleys and it takes me a minute for my eyes to adjust to where I find myself. I find it hard to make decisions without knowing where I am. I have to lean on the professional guidance of others when I’m in such a fogged over place. I know the Lord is present – He promised He’d be here and He’s never left me or forsaken me. Sometimes my struggle is so consuming my thoughts that I can’t see Him at work, but He is working.

I know a few things about the Lord. I know that Jesus came to earth as a baby, grew up in a carpenter shop and then ministered to hundreds and thousands of people as He walked this earth. He died a sacrificial death that I might have forgiveness and hope. I know that to the logical/linear mind this may not make any sense. But I know that Hope has a Name – Jesus. He has seen me through some dark, dark times. He never leaves just because things are tough, in fact that’s when He does some of His most memorable work in me. My Hope is in Jesus. Through the struggles of this season – my hope is in Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Weary Eyes

tired businessman rubbing his eyesThere have been times when I’ve cried so much that my eyes can hardly see. I know what it is like to experience deep pain and heartache. It is not something you would wish on someone else, including your enemy. I believe I’m stronger for having gone through such deep pain and heartache, but it sure is hard to be thankful or positive in the midst of it. The people of Israel and Judah were all carried away by Babylon and their city lay in ruins. They were in deep pain from witnessing what had happened to them, their family and their city. Check this out…

11 My eyes fail from weeping,

    I am in torment within;

my heart is poured out on the ground

    because my people are destroyed,

because children and infants faint

    in the streets of the city.

18 The hearts of the people

    cry out to the Lord.

You walls of Daughter Zion,

    let your tears flow like a river

    day and night;

give yourself no relief,

    your eyes no rest.

19 Arise, cry out in the night,

    as the watches of the night begin;

pour out your heart like water

    in the presence of the Lord.

Lift up your hands to him

    for the lives of your children,

who faint from hunger

    at every street corner. (Lamentations 2:11,18-19 NIV)

 

There are times when my eyes hurt so badly from grief that I simply need to close my eyes and rest. My tears speak volumes about my heart. My eyes are the windows into my soul and I can sometimes see pain as it approaches me. At other times pain appears suddenly. No matter what pain and struggle I’m in the middle of, I choose to hang on the Him in the middle of it.

Pressing On!

Dwayne