Vying for Airtime (October 31, 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…

God, listen to my prayer; don’t avoid my request! Pay attention! Answer me! I can’t sit still while complaining. I say to myself, I wish I had wings like a dove! I’d fly away and rest.  I’d hurry to my hideout, far from the rushing wind and storm. (Psalm 55:1-2; 6, 8; context)

…Filling Up…

One of the side effects of our storms is that they tend to lessen our ability to be aware of God’s presence. The most important thing to remember when faced with a storm – to cling to, really, with all of your might – is that God’s presence is not dependent on our awareness of God’s presence. In other words, we are with God whether we realize it or not.

While this is a comforting thought, when we are in the midst of a storm, I think most of us would agree that it would be better if God’s presence were easier to find than harder. But that’s not how it seems to work. Is that God’s fault? Is there a flaw in God’s plan here?

Or is it the natural outcome of calamity? When we fall into distress, the amount of stimuli that bombards us goes way up. With so much more clamoring for our attention, it’s no wonder that being aware of God’s presence gets harder. If the fullness of God’s presence is always with us, then it’s impossible for that presence to get bigger or fuller. God’s presence abides – always strong, always steadfast. But because it is always with us, we have a tendency to push it into the background when calamity strikes.

So when the storm vies for airtime, it is incumbent on us to remember that God’s presence does not reduce itself just because the storm seems to be growing out of control. Rather than deciding that God has gone on holiday, the most faithful response we can give is to heighten our awareness, to hold onto the little things that remind us that God is with us. At first these little things – the hug your mother gave you when you were crying, the encouraging text from a friend – will seem woefully insignificant in the midst of the storm. But they add up, and they remind us that God is there – always.

…Praying For…

Dear God, help me to remember that your presence is constant and abiding even during the storms of my life. Help me to rely on you even when I have trouble knowing you are there. 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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