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Doug Creamer: The Storms of Life

            For weather enthusiasts, this has been a very busy hurricane season. People along the Gulf coast are still picking up the pieces. Some areas may take months, or dare I say years, to recover. It is hard to imagine the power of hurricanes when they are far out at sea, but when they come on land they are very destructive.
            My nephew and his fiancée live in Puerto Rico; at least they did before Maria paid that island a visit. Luckily they were here in the states for a family reunion and were unable to make it back before the storm hit. They are worried about things at home because very little news has made it this way about their house or the places where they work, not to mention friends. From the things I have read and seen on the news, things look desperate down there.
            It looks like Hurricane Maria decided to stay off the coast and go out to sea. Maria caused many problems even though she remained at sea. She created lots of beach erosion and some rough seas along the coast. I imagine surfers might be the only benefactors along the east coast. Maria will never be forgotten in Puerto Rico, which is suffering beyond my imagination for the basics of life.
            The storms of life come to our doorstep in many forms: the doctor informing us of the unthinkable diagnosis, the phone call from the hospital about a family member, the pink slip attached to a final paycheck, the earthquakes in Mexico, and actual storms that wreak havoc in our lives. Nothing can make us crave the routines of life more than an unexpected and unwanted storm.
            So what do we do when we see a storm on our horizon? We need to turn our hearts away from fear and toward faith. The God we serve is bigger than any storm on our horizon. He saw the storm before it arrived and He will see us through it. Sometimes storms come in our lives to test our faith in God and to help us grow spiritual muscles. It is important that we learn to stand up and fight spiritual battles. When we see the storms coming our way, we need to turn our hearts to God in prayer.

            When we find ourselves smack in the middle of a storm, it’s OK to cry out for help like Peter did when he was sinking while walking on the water. We are God’s sons and daughters; He wants to hear our petitions and prayers. As His children, we have special influence with our Heavenly Daddy. Storms can help build our trust in a miracle-working God. The key to remember in the midst of the storm is that God has it all in

control.
            After the storm has passed and we see God’s rainbow in our lives, we need to tell others about how God got us through the storm. We have a testimony of God’s goodness toward us. To others who are facing the same storm, you can be a beacon of hope. Your experience will give you insight on how to pray for others, how to encourage them, and how to show them the love of God when they feel overwhelmed by their circumstances. God can and will use you, but you have to make yourself and your story available to Him.
            I firmly believe that we were not made to go through life alone. We need each other to make it through the storms that lie ahead. I need you to strengthen and encourage me in my dark hour and you need me to be there for you. That is why it is so important to be connected to the body of Christ in a local church. God will place people in your life who will help you and for whom you will be their lifesaver. We all know the source of our power to push through the storms of life…prayer. I believe in the power of prayer to change circumstances.

            I want to encourage you if you find yourself in the heart of a storm. I have found in my life that sometimes God calms the storm when I pray. Other times He allows the storm to howl all around me but He will calm me and give me His perfect peace. I encourage you to

confide in some folks who you know will stand with you as you press on in your storm. The most important thing to remember is that you are never alone because God will never leave you or forsake you.
Contact Doug at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041or doug@dougcreamer.com

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