Sailing Into Sunshine

July 28, 2010

While enjoying a Caribbean cruise a few years back, our family was particularly looking forward to spending a day on one of the islands owned by the cruise line, when the Captain made an announcement.

“This is your Captain speaking” the voice over the loud speaker boomed, “As you know, we are scheduled to anchor on the island tomorrow, but heavy storms are being forecasted for that area.  Do not be concerned.  If we can’t spend the day on the island, we will sail around until we find the sunshine.”

I appreciated the Captain’s optimism and have thought of that comment many times since that day.

“We will sail around until we find the sunshine.”

Sometimes it seems our lives are just one big storm after another.  We barely catch our breath after one squall  before the next wave hits.

It can be exhausting.

It’s also easy to forget that somewhere the sun is shining when in our little corner of the world there is nothing but dark clouds, high winds, and lightning strikes all around!

But … our Captain always knows exactly where we are on the radar screen.  He also knows where the sunshine can be found and you can bet, he is sailing us into the sunshine. Just hold on and trust him!

As much as I’d like to believe it’s God’s will that we never encounter storms in life, I know better.  Even storms serve a purpose in the scheme of things.  Our human minds can’t comprehend the vast expanse of the universe.  We’re usually so wrapped up in our efforts to preserve our own interests, we fail to notice what’s happening on a grander scale.

We certainly don’t like to think the “grander scale” is more important than our bout of bad weather. The painful reality is, our little bout of bad weather is part of that grander scale… and so it is important!

I’m hearing the collective “groan” of several of you right now.

“We want the sunshine, we don’t want the storm!”

Don’t abandon ship!

You must keep moving through the storm. You will find the sun waiting on the other side.

God bless!

Becky J. Taylor

July 28, 2010

Bold New Day! LLC

Personal Development Coaching for Women

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.webs.com

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A Case for Grace

April 18, 2009

Over the last few months, my blog topics have included things like faith, trust, miracles (and the lack thereof).

Most recently, I’ve been thinking about God’s grace.

I wasn’t taught a lot about grace as I was growing up.  The denomination our family belonged to leaned more toward the hell-fire and brimstone aspect of the Almighty’s personality.  Fear and trembling was an fundamental part of our church services, an approach to salvation that I would neither condone or recommend, much less teach to my own children!

Thankfully (and ironically enough, by God’s grace) I developed a more intimate personal relationship with Him as an adult and learned that despite all I’d been led to believe, God truly does love me.   Not only that, but He also has a plan for me and it is good! (Jer. 29:11-13)  No longer in my mind, is He an angry judge sitting on His throne just waiting for me to mess up so He can smite me!

Imagine my relief!

I think we all walk in God’s grace more than we will ever realize this side of Heaven.  His grace surrounds us every day of our lives and we don’t even notice. His grace is sufficient for all our needs.  That applies even to the needs that only He knows we have.

God showers us with grace at times when we unintentionally sin.  His grace abounds over our mistakes.  Thank goodness for that!

God’s grace is also evident in our lives when we are confused,  hurt, brokenhearted and angry. It’s at those moments when we want pound our fists against His chest in rage and ask him “why?”, that grace really steps in.  In grace and inexplicable love, our Heavenly Father simply let’s us express our feelings to Him, then wraps His arms around us and holds us as we cry.

That’s the grace I’ve come to appreciate the most.

We are human beings.  God created us that way.  No one understands our hearts better than He.

And no one loves us more!

God sees our future as well as our past and present.   He knows how badly we hurt as well as the source of our anger and tears.  He also knows the hurt will heal, the anger will subside, and we will smile again.

That is why at times when we probably deserve it the least …  He gives us grace!

Enjoy this great YouTube video of Israel Houghton singing about the grace that carries us  “through every season”  The title of the song is “If Not For Your Grace”

Sometimes disappointment turns into outright heartbreak.

You “did” all the right things.  You prayed.  You clung to faith even as your world was collapsing around you.

Then, just when you thought you couldn’t take one more thing, there came a blow so devastating that your soul was shaken to the very core.

At times like these, even prayer may seem pointless.  Instead, you want to shout at God in anger, telling Him how “wrong” or “unfair” you think your situation is.

And ask Him “Why?” … even though you realize that no explanation could ever make you understand.

When we are in such a state of sadness and confusion, it’s hard to believe in the power of that  “mustard seed” faith the Bible talks about.  If faith no bigger than the size of a grain of mustard seed can move a mountain, then why did that whole “truckload” of faith you’ve been traveling in just crash and burn?

“Why did this horrible thing happen?”  is a question that has plagued mankind for probably as long as human beings have existed.  As far as I know, no one has ever come up with a satisfactory answer.  If I’m wrong about that,  please let me know. I’d love to be informed!

When from all human perspective faith has failed us, we have no choice but to move up another level  of relationship with God and trust Him.

Although faith and trust sometimes seem much the same, there is an important difference between the two.

Someone once defined it to me this way:

“Faith is believing that someone can push a wheelbarrow across a tightrope spanning Niagra Falls.

Trust, is the willingness to ride in the wheelbarrow!”

The love our Heavenly Father has for us surpasses any degree of human understanding.  Contrary to some people’s beliefs, God doesn’t take pleasure in human suffering of any kind.  You’ll never convince me otherwise.  Rather, I believe that when we cry, He feels our pain.  When our hearts break, so does His.

So, back to the age old question of “Why”?   Sorry!  I still don’t know the answer.

But I do know there will inevitably be times when we will experience loss, sadness, pain, and grief.  No human being is ever completely spared from those things.  Even Jesus Christ himself was subjected to such during his time here on earth.  Why then, would we expect to be exempt?

Thankfully, God has been gracious enough to provide us with a vehicle for getting us through seasons of great sorrow.  When bad things happen, He wants us to turn to Him.  He wants us to trust, even when we do not understand why.

Don’t stop at faith alone and proclaim that you believe God is in control of your destiny.  Be willing to get in the “wheelbarrow” and know that He alone is able to get you to the other side of even the widest and deepest of heartbreaks!

Blessings!

Becky Taylor 3-9-09