Monday, September 20, 2004

I asked God to take me deep.

He is answering that prayer. He is taking me so deep that I don't know where I am any longer, let alone where I am going, except for the assurance of His hand guiding me through the murkiest waters I have ever encountered.

I recently saw a painting of a sailor at the wheel of a ship in a horrendous storm. Surrounded by waves and turbulence painted in dark colors, the sailor remained at the wheel. But behind the sailor stood the Lord, brilliantly white and very strong, guiding him through the storm. The picture wouldn't have captured my attention, except for the caption: Psalm 139:9-10.

"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me."

I had never thought about God's leading in the storm, and I too often forget that He holds me while I am in it. It's hard to feel secure when you're tossing to and fro, afraid of the power that is surrounding me.

God took me out of the storm last weekend. Hurricane Ivan was wreaking havoc up the coast while my sister and I traveled to North Carolina for my health on Thursday. We only saw a little rain--enough to clean the car--and a lot of clouds. On Friday evening, after my doctor's appointment, the sun burst through the clouds with a brilliant gold as if it was crying, "It's my turn to shine! Let me in, world--have done with the bleakness of this storm!"

As we were driving back to the place we were staying, the sun caught the droplets to the east of us, and painted a vivid rainbow among the clouds, woven into the gray. As it continued its setting, the sky was kindled, and burst into flame--the pattern of the clouds turned fiery red. I have never seen such a sunset, mingling so many colors with the bleak aftermath of a hurricane.

I'd be so selfish to say it was only for me, but it was truly a gift. I really smiled for the first time in days. Then yesterday, I woke filled with peace, with praise for Him in my heart and on my lips. It was odd. Nothing had substantially changed about my circumstances. In fact, I had probably been handed even more to deal with than I had started out the weekend with.

What a confirmation of His Spirit in my life, that I should wake praising Him. He hedges me about, both behind and before. He has laid His hand upon me. His ways are perfect, and it is He who is directing my steps.
He is good, isn't He?


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