Foxholes (October 30, 2012)

…Opening To…

Sometimes the Lord rides out the storm with us and other times He calms the restless sea around us. Most of all, He calms the storm inside us in our deepest inner soul. (Lloyd John Ogilvie)

…Listening In…

Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It didn’t fall because it was firmly set on bedrock. (Matthew 7:24-25; context)

…Filling Up…

They say there are no atheists in foxholes. I’m not sure how true this statement is since I’ve never known anyone who has dug a foxhole while enemy mortars were raining down. But you can see where the line of thought comes from: when faced with dire circumstances, the conventional wisdom says that people tend to rely on, rather than deny, the existence of God.

Is this conventional wisdom true? Do more people rely on God rather than deny God when faced with life’s storms? I have no evidence one way or the other, but my gut tells me that people tend to rely on God, even if they would never use such language to express themselves. This reliance on God takes many forms, to be sure, and some are less obvious than others. Here are a few of them. See if any of these fall into your experience when a storm has arisen in your life.

  1. God has always been your steady rock, in both good times and bad. When the storm comes up, your reliance on God feels just as natural as it always does.
  2. You have a vague belief in God, but that belief doesn’t really impact the way you live your life. When the storm rises, you discover that your belief keeps you afloat and you are astonished to find out you believe as fiercely as you do.
  3. The storm rises and you feel like God has abandoned you. You search and search, but you just can’t seem to find God in your situation. When the storm subsides, you realize that the search for God in your distress was just what you needed to sustain you.
  4. The storm rises and you blame God for your distress. You tell God you don’t believe anymore. Then you realize that you can’t blame something you don’t believe in. And you understand that God will willingly take the blame if it helps you persevere.

Relying on God takes so many forms that trying to classify them all would be a fool’s errand. So I encourage you to tackle this question this week: when faced with a storm in my life, where do I expect God to be?

…Praying For…

Dear God, thank you for promising never to separate from me or let me wander off alone. In the midst of the storm, help me to recognize your presence and rely on you. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, praying for the faith to sustain me through all of life’s storms.

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