How is GOD using the fire and storms in your life?

I’m not exactly sure when it was, but for a period of time, I kept finding myself reading verses in the Bible about being in the fire or storm. Daniel 3:9-30, Isaiah 43:1-5, Matthew 8:23-27, the book of Job and others. I’m not sure what I thought at the time, but looking back, I can see that GOD wanted to prepare me that I would be going into the fire…a hot 🥵🔥 one!

Since October 22, 2015 I feel like I have been in the fire. That is on-going pain from surgery with no answers to why, spinal pain which was in the 7-8/10 pain levels for several years (as well as occasionally now, but regularly around 4-6/10 pain levels), for several years inability to get regular sleep, doctors unwilling to help, insurance denials, workplace falsely accusing me of theft, loss of beloved animals, mental breakdown, weakness in my legs taking my freedom to drive, autoimmune disease, noise/light/smell sensitivities, depression, migraine headaches…

; BUT GOD has been faithful throughout. Majority of the verses I continued to see over and over were about being in a fire or storm, BUT most importantly the verses were about WHO IS WITH US WHEN WE GO THROUGH THE FIRE OR THE STORM!

Isaiah 43:1-5 -But now thus says the LORD, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your GOD, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.

Remember Shadrach Meshach and Abednego; GOD didn’t put out the fire, in fact, the fire was stoked seven times hotter! ;BUT GOD was in the fire with them. It’s not about GOD putting out the fires, it’s about who is in the fire with you.

In Matthew 8:23-27, the One who controls all things, including the weather, was in the boat with the disciples. JESUS calmed the storm with a Word.

For just over six and a half years, I have been in what feels like a fire that’s gotten a little bit hotter over time. I’ve learned that the key to not fearing is to know that GOD is with us through it.

I have also started to see that going through the fire is about healing and restoration. This happens when we surrender every aspect of the fires and storms to GOD and allow Him to use it for our good.

Today it occurred to me that maybe GOD wants to use the fires in our lives to give others life. I was reading a devotional about “heaping coals on the heads of our enemies” and remembered that in the past is was a blessing to give someone a hot coal. It meant they would be able to warm their house, cook food, warm water for drinks and baths, etc.

I’m not quite sure what it would look like to use the fire I am in to give life to others. Maybe instead of just existing in the fires we are in, we can look outside of our fires to encourage others who are going through it and we can pray for others asking GOD to show Himself in their fire.

How is GOD using the fires and/or storms in your life? What is He teaching you? Please let me know in the comment section.

Despite the fires in my life, I desire to see the Church, the Bride of Christ, united together in love. I desire to see the Bay Area to become the Valley of GOD’s Heart’s Delight. I’m not sure how I can be part of this, other than prayer, but I am at least asking GOD to use me.

I pray that GOD will show Himself faithful to you. I pray that GOD will show you, that even though your fire might be getting hotter or that your boat is about to be overtaken by waves, He is with you, He is for you and He is in control of the fires and storms. I pray that GOD will empower you to stop crying out to be saved from the fire and the storm to see that you are safe in the fire and the storm BECAUSE HE IS WITH YOU. I pray that GOD will encourage you, strengthen you and show you purpose inside the fire and storm. I pray that GOD will remove all hopelessness, anxiety, fear, dejectedness, etc and give you His peace that surpasses all understanding to guard your heart and mind. I pray that GOD will soften any part of your heart and mind that has become hardened because of the fire and storm. And I pray that GOD will renew your love for Him, allow a fire to burn inside your heart and that He will show you new purpose. May He build something beautiful from the ashes, bringing healing and restoration in and through your life because of what you are going through.

Christmas Christmas time is here…

Are you having a hard time getting into the Christmas Spirit this year?

SIGH, I’m not sure what to write or how to write it. I had a lot of hope and anticipation at the beginning of December. Then I suddenly found myself struggling with depression, yet again!

I really thought I would get past it this year and finally experience the hope and anticipation throughout the month. If you are like me, you need something, anything to anchor onto so that you can make it through the holidays.

I know we are to focus on Jesus, the reason for the season…and Christmas should be in our hearts and lives all year long. I can spend all morning reading devotionals and GOD’s Word. And worship and sing songs of praise to Him all while still struggling with depression.

I’m finding that looking back at past Christmases while asking GOD to shine a light on my memories to show me how He was in them is bringing some relief.

I was at my church’s Christmas Carol sing last week and people were asked to share memories. There seemed to be a theme this year where person after person shared about their family opening Christmas presents for hours for Christmas. My family didn’t do that.

Interestingly, GOD brought to mind not a time with lots of presents, but a Christmas when I was younger after my parents divorced and my Dad had remarried. We were at my Dad’s sister’s house. It was evening and the adults had the kids join them. The adults started to sing (and recorded it on a cassette tape).

GOD shined His light in the gift of His presence. You see, my family were not just singing the melody of the Christmas songs, but were harmonizing with one another. It was like a taste of what it will be like when we get to heaven.

GOD is reminding me of other Christmas memories too. Is it causing the depression to go away? No. BUT GOD is allowing me to have peace, hope, anticipation and even some joy despite the depression. He is able to do that when we let Him.

GOD has an adventure for each of us. He never promised life would be easy. Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble, but He has overcome the world. It’s our choice to take Him up on the adventure He has for us or try to do life on our own without Him.

Having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit? Ask GOD to shine a light on what He is doing as well as where He was in past seasons of your life. He will show Himself faithful. He will show you where He has been working in your life, even in the hardest parts of your life.

And one more thing, please know, it’s ok to be depressed. It’s ok to not be ok. But know this, you are not alone. GOD is with you and loves you. BUT if you are thinking about taking your life, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). GOD will help you get through this season. Trust Him.

I pray that GOD will show Himself faithful in your life. I pray that He will encourage you, strengthen you and give you hope and anticipation of what is to come. I pray that GOD will envelope you in His arms and lead you on the adventure of a lifetime. He is able and willing. I love you friend. Merry Christmas!