In the Storm

text and photo by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

Storms are natural. They are part of the seasons. An aspect of this mortal human existence on this planet. Storms tend to wake us up out of our complacency and re-awaken us to our own vulnerability. Which was always there, but we like to find ways to pretend is not. When we have faith in God, He promises to be there with us through every storm. However, He does not promise to eliminate the storm. And He does not promise no consequences from it. He tells us not to worry, because we can rely on Him, but at the same time….reminds us that each day will, will, will have troubles of its own…(Matt. 6:34)

What are we supposed to do with this? He calls us to pray, yet not worry. This may be a different type of prayer than that to which we are accustomed. We pray in an awareness of many aspects, including these four: God is in control; there is a supernatural battle swirling around us at all times (and God is greater); God calls us to partner with Him in prayer for release of His power for His will in all circumstances; in this world we will have many troubles (and God is with us unto eternity through them).
Thus how to reconcile these. Perhaps it is to both pray forward what the Lord lays on our hearts–to partner with Him to pray for His move in those things which He lays most on our hearts–AND simultaneously to release all expectations. To lay it all at His feet. Put it into His hands. Release everything to Him for Him to move according to His will. Sometimes it will seem as if evil is winning. Sometimes evil does win a battle. But never the war.

Consider the cross. There is no way the murder of Jesus Christ could be seen as a win for God in the moment. To all present and all those who had fled into hiding–to each one who had known, believed and loved Him–the murder of Jesus had to have seemed like the end. Yet, yet, yet what the adversary does use for evil, God works through to bring His eternally-minded good. Eternally-minded. Even though sometimes the current events are horrible…

Our eyes are so focused on here and now. We grieve. We weep! We fear. We are like little children thrilled with what is less and even as the Lord delights in us, He knows He is leading us through it all to more.

There is nothing wrong with appreciating the beauty of here and now and valuing the relationships. He made us for one another! He gives us gifts in the midst! He expects us to love and to grieve and to mourn when there is loss. He made us in His image. He made us to love! If we love, then we will also mourn.

If we lift our eyes to Him and let Him continually feed us with His eternal view where there will be messes and yuck and horror and hardship (where this life is never mistaken for heaven), then He can strengthen us through this storm. He can help you to stand firm in the midst with His armor on, while it rages around you. Hands emptied of expectations and heads bowed in united prayer, even as you then take the courage to raise those hands in abandoned worship. Trusting Him through the worst to bring His ultimate best not just for your life but for each one. (Yes, because He loves each one equally.) He will answer our prayers. The storm will end. In the meantime–

Lord, our times are in Your hands. Our trust is in You. Even in this storm because You are, we dare to rejoice. And give You thanks. Especially for Your action and presence and care because of love in the places where we cannot see. We trust in You. Lord, please let this storm pass at Your earliest moment. For now, please continue the work of healing bodies and hearts and of protecting those who so need it in this hour. Thank You. In Your mighty, wonderful, precious Name, Amen.

4/1/2020

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Financial Counselor and Financial Coach (FFC) with a heart for helping people know and encounter God more.

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Her book called: Truth-Spiritual Manual for Battle now available on amazon.com. Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes and Spotify.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.    For information email heyeaglesnest@gmail.com or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

If Today…

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 text and photo by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2020

If today were to be my last day, let it be filled with Your love. Not the lesser, faulty, assumed-to-be-always-warm-fuzzy-and-fluffy human love, but Yours. Always honest. Always forthright. Always true. Not pushy or forceful, but there lived before all. In words and deed. Led by You. Not me. Merciful Compassionate. With loving-kindness towards all which sometimes is warmth well received and sometimes requires an edginess or that which is uncomfortable for the listener but needs to be spoken anyway. Rarely in anger and not ever to create fear or shaming. Never in hate. Always in love. Truth, which at its essence is equal love for all presenting itself.  Visible. Though perhaps misconstrued or misunderstood. Or perhaps the one who hears not yet at a place where what is spoken can be heard. Perhaps imperfectly communicated. Perhaps some interference in the way (which can be on both sides)—spiritual, emotional, from past experience and birthed perspectives. Or perhaps an outright spiritual enemy assault.

Love must however remain if it is true in Christ even if at the moment it is misunderstood.

The Holy Spirit knowing the how of this because though there are basic principles—each situation is different. He knows. We don’t. For love we listen (to Him for His instructions). For love we seek to discern. For love of Him to obey no matter the personal risk or cost.

For such a time as this.

In the years to come they will look back and see the path we were on which our steps connected to make, often at this moment. The overview will be out of our view for now. Worship, pray, listen, obey is the God-given life rhythm. Worship, pray, listen and then obey unto love, unto loving. By the Holy Spirit. Working through our obedient submission, openness and readiness. In what we think is big, but most often in that which to our childlike minds seems small. For love. His. Always.

If this were to be my last day, let it be filled with the love of the Lord our God. Not mine. But His flowing through because I am emptied and being emptied more. (The process hurts!) This because I am adamant, I am a mere branch and must remain one, which is attached to my beloved Vine, Jesus, in my dailiness and in the exceptions. And all along the way, in most every season the Master Gardener (who is My Father) prunes me.

This is also love unto loving more. His love. Growing on the branch. Because of deep and deeper attachment to the Vine. Because of His vibrancy, life and truth (which is true love) flowing through. Producing. More of His fruit to supply a starving world. Never with my love, but His.

Lord, if this were my last day, and even if it is not—how would You have me spend this moment so the vibration it sends forth into a famished universe is love for You and love for them, which is perfected by You through Christ for Your glory, because it is for the salvation of the world? For love. For the sake of each one. In this place. In this moment. You are here. And You know the way for this moment. For today. Thank You, Lord.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (AMPCE)

1 If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).

Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. 

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. 
http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Financial Counselor and Financial Coach (FFC) with a heart for helping people know and encounter God more.

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Her book called: Truth-Spiritual Manual for Battle now available on amazon.com. Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes and Spotify.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.    For information email heyeaglesnest@gmail.com or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

He is the Lord & He is Not Done

20181107_065217by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2018

It has been a theme before in previous posts. To see and recognize God in our storms–not just for us but especially for those we love. For those we hold so closely in our hearts, where what happpens to them affects us because we love. It is a theme which bears repeating because as a result of our love we also hurt and God wants to remind us that He is ever there, never leaving or forsaking either them or us.

So here we go. Another look at our God who not only is in the storm, but still it. He alone. From here to eternity. Always. Forever.  He is our anchor for the soul. Ever firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19 reminds us.

There are those moments when we know that that in which we find ourselves enmeshed is so beyond our power. We always know we have no power, but in these times, we know it fiercely. We know it will take God’s hand to shift what seems to be. We know we are not equipped for that which we face.

We should feel aware like this at all times. But we do not. We should always be celebrating what we cannot do, but He can.

Despair comes when we have pinned our hopes on anything different or less than God’s plans. When we are desperate for Him to do what our hearts seek.

It is not wrong to have hopes, dreams and desires for ourselves and those we love and care about. But it is bondage when our hopes and dreams hold us captive to worry, anxiety, despair and fear in the waiting. We are called to a joyful hope. For confident trust in affliction. To peace in the storm.

Just as with the disciples who forgot Jesus continued to be aware and have a plan even when He was very much asleep in the boat in the midst of the storm, we need to remember God neither slumbers or sleep, really. And when we think He has not heard or seen, He very much has. He continues to reign and work through all of it. In the ones we love and in the circumstances we have ongoing around and beyond us.

We are told to let go. To give them to God. Perhaps in the midst of this, we would do well to simultaneously grab God’s hand and hold tightly to it. Perhaps our hope is found in being His child.  This is His call to us. This is that to which He invites.

He is not only our Gift to eternal life. He is our Gift now. He is the One to whom we cling. He is the One into whom we lean. He is our blessed support. He is the Lifter of our heads. He is the breath of peace which relieves that which presses down on us. We look to HIm. We are reminded who He is. The One who is Love and never fails us. Ever.

All the ones to whom we hold so tightly in the hope, in the hope, in the hope for all which the world tells us is required to have a “great” life are known by God and our concerns completely understood. It is not that He does not care. Nor is He slow to answer. But honestly His focus is not on these things. His principle focus is on the recapture of our hearts fully for Him.  Both the ones we love and ours.

He is looking. He is longing. He is working. He sees today. Yet it is eternity which consumes His attention because of His longing. Because as love He wants us. Ever one with Him. forever. Starting now and drawing closer without end.

There is also the grand paradox of how God works in this self-seeking fallen realm. He is the God who seeks us and has been seeking us. In fact, He never stops and will not. He also does not fail.

Yes, the grand paradox where He, He, He and He alone takes everything the adversary means for evil and uses it toward eternal good. He uses it like a seed which dies–like He Himself who died. Out of the most horrible situations. He already has the plan in place to bring life from this. Greater than we can imagine. Out of what seems like dust. The seed which is technically already dead, falls seemingly finished into the soil. There put away forgotten and in the dark, the water comes into the soil. Suddenly the nutrients which were always there around it are absorbable. The water softens the outer shell which accompanied the seed in its death. Then the miracle occurs. It is God! Only God! In a way unanticipated! By the touch of the water in a way which cannot be ultimately discerned a new life begins. It comes unstoppably forth out of that which appeared to be finished and had disappeared from view. By God’s power! By God’s miraculous, ever-seeking, ever-loving power. (Which is life.)

There in the hiddenness still new life begins to grow.  Roots first plunging down into the soil so that it can continue to take up what it needs via the nutrient dense water to grow and ultimately there will be a harvest. Many, many, many seeds from this one.

This is God’s way. He is never finished. Working through every storm. And so we hold tight to the anchor He is. Eyes on Him. Being the child. Letting Him lead. Steady. Leaning in. Not tottering. Today. Tomorrow. Blessed.

Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, Rejoice!

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. 
http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Newly published is a book called: Truth-Spiritual Manual for Battle now available on amazon.com. Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.    For information email eaglesnestfoundation2007@gmail.com or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org