Picking up from yesterday’s post in chapter 33.
“Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.”
During any storm, it is important to keep up your strength. In Paul’s case, it was food for the physical body. In some storms, it is important to eat and get that kind of nourishment. But it is just as important to sustain yourself with the word of God and the presence of the Father. The last thing you want to do is fast from the Father. You don’t want to fast from prayer, discussions with God, from reading His word. Just as it is important to keep your physical strength, you have to keep your spiritual strength up. You can lean on God for that strength. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “
He wants us to rely on Him. We can get sustenance from the Father. He will renew our spirits, He will restore our souls. Jesus really is the living water and when we put all our faith in Him, He will fill us up. Our spirit and our soul will feel His love. The Father will freely give His love to us. It will sustain us and it will help us get through any storm that comes at us. But we have to open ourselves up to receive His love and be willing to seek its nourishment. Just as the body needs food, our spirit and soul need the love of the Father.
I found myself going to prayer more often, going to the bible more often, seeking the Fathers love. He really did sustain me during this storm. He poured out His love. He reassured me. He told me, like Abraham, that He will take me to a land that He will show me. It is because I looked for Him in the midst of the storm and He was willing to pour out His love. Through His love and nourishment, my soul and spirit got renewed.
“When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach.”
When God brings you through a storm and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel or see the land there is one more item that is left to be done. You must cut loose the anchor that is holding you from being able to see a new dawn. This can be anything that will keep you in the storm. For me, the Father has shown me that my anchos were judgement and arrogance! I was quick to judge and proud of what I had accomplished. I forgot that it was not by my hands that I was successful. Rather the Father desired it for me to grow and be successful.
I had to cut the anchor of judgement and arrogance. I am thankful God started to speak to me about humility during this storm. He revealed a number of things that all point to pride and humility. I am starting to cut that anchor, but it is not an overnight thing. I pray that someday, I can share the journey to find true humility and really be able to shed the mantle of pride. But for now, I know that the anchor of pride for my job has been cut. I now am relying on the Father to open the door for my next adventure. Whenever, wherever and whatever that might be.
Then what do you do once the storm has passed? You are changed, you are always changed. Romans 5:3-5 says, “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
The storm will produce perseverance, character and ultimately hope. Hope comes from the Love that the Father has poured into our hearts. Tomorrow we will finish up this series with a deeper look at how to rejoice after the storm.