Thursday, November 1, 2012

Heroes And Hope

 ~ Grace Gifts ~
Heroes And Hope

Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Like everyone else, I watched in horror as the waves swept over the northeast. Destruction and chaos.
Families everywhere were jolted out of "normalcy" and the comfort and security of the homes and communities they once knew. They were thrust suddenly and unwillingly into the darkness and despair of loss. 
As horrific as the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, it seems as if trouble  hits all our lives in some form of tragedy—the death of a loved one, a dreaded medical diagnosis, the loss of home and property, or the loss of your job... you are experiencing your own Hurricane Sandy storm. You may feel as if your whole world has been turned upside down, and wonder how you can possibly survive the loss. In times like these, you can feel very much alone.
But you are not alone. In the midst of unspeakable sorrow God is with you. Even if you do not feel Him near, God is there. He promises to never leave you alone. Therefore, wherever you are, God is. He is with you before, during, and after "the storm," never losing sight of you, or your suffering. Even as you ponder how you will begin picking up the pieces of your life, God is there … loving you beyond understanding, holding you up, and making a way where it seems there is no way. Reach out for Him today. He is a very present help in times of trouble.

Hurricane Sandy
 2 Samuel 22:5 "The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

Sandy Surges Across Northeast Causing Flooding and Power Outages 
Psalm 69:2 I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.

Water Gushing Into The Ground Zero Construction Site
 New York City was hit especially hard. In Manhattan, walls crumbled, the skyline went black and whole neighborhoods were submerged underwater after a record-setting high tide

.Psalm 144:7 Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters

 Water rushes into the Carey Tunnel (previously the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel), Monday night in the Financial District of New York. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Psalm 69:15
Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me.

Wading Away ~ Oct. 30. 

A man wades away from a house surrounded by floodwater in Bellport, New York.


 Psalm 124:4 the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us

Psalm 124:5 the raging waters would have swept us away.

A man holds his head in his hands as he looks over the remains of burned
homes in the Rockaways. (Keith Bedford/Reuters)
 Psalm 69: 3
 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

                               Jersey Shore

Psalm 69:15
Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.

 Psalm 93: 3
The floods have lifted up their voice,
The floods lift up their pounding waves.

Do not let floodwaters sweep me away. Do not let the ocean swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me. 

 Ocean City

As always, among the tragedies Hope can be found!
Hope and heroes. 
For all of the destruction that Hurricane Sandy caused, it also delivered some real-life heroes who showed that despite what is occurring, it really is a beautiful world after all.
He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Isaiah 40:29
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow … Psalm 31:9-10a
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and though the rivers, they will not overflow you. … For I am the Lord your God ..." Isaiah 43:2-3

In a desperate fight for survival many people passed through the floodwaters in a frantic search for higher ground. It had to be a frightening experience to wade, and in some areas, swim, through the murky, contaminated waters to save self, family members, neighbors, family pets, and in some cases, total strangers. But in the midst of fear, desperation, and uncertainty many passed through the deep waters courageously, and were eventually rescued and taken to safety.

As you pass through the deep waters of your circumstances, you may be wondering, "Who can rescue me from this?" Be encouraged! Even in the deepest of waters, God promises to be with the one who trusts in Him. He alone can truly rescue you and keep you from drowning. Just as Jesus rescued Peter when He invited him to walk on water in the midst of a storm (see Matthew 14:22-33). At first, Peter trusted Jesus and joined Him on the water, but as soon as he began to focus on the storm, and give in to the fear of it, he began to sink. Still, when he cried out, "Lord, save me!" (Matthew 12:30) Jesus stretched out His hand and rescued Peter.

He can rescue you too. All you need do is take a deep breath of faith, reach out, and take hold of the mighty hand of God. Do not fear the deep, murky waters of uncertainty surrounding you. Though the way seems difficult, and at times impossible, you can be confident in this, "Nothing will be impossible with God" (Luke 1:37).

For He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul. Psalm 138:3
Blessed be the … God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the same comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. … This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of al his troubles. Psalm 34:4,6

You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in Your book! Psalm 139:16
42 babies were born at Mt. Sinai Hospital during  the storm.
Here is one of them, little Micah.

Jeremiah 32:17  "Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. … This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of al his troubles. (Psalm 34:4,6)

Throughout the Bible God makes it clear that our prayers are very important to Him. He loves for us to talk with Him, just as we would our closest friend, and promises to be there for us whenever we call. He says, "Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).

He wants you to tell Him about your burdens, and to give Him all your cares, so that He can bring hope to your heart, peace to your soul, and strength to your life (see 1 Peter 5:7). But even when you're at a loss for words, and don't know what to pray, the Holy Spirit Himself speaks on your behalf (see Romans 8:26). Yet God is not only interested in your struggles. He wants you to talk with Him about everything, from your smallest victories to your greatest fears and all things in between. 

To me, the most important thing is being with Him forever. We never know when this will be our last day on earth... Our last breath breathed... I want to be ready for my Papa when He sends Jesus back here to harvest His Kingdom; a place where there will be no more sorrows, no more pain, no more tears.

Matthew 24:44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 

In Jesus Name we pray,