God’s Aware of Your Tears

TEARS HAVE A LANGUAGE ALL THEIR OWN, needing no interpreter. In some mysterious way, our inner-communication system knows its verbal limitations, and the tears come. Eyes that flashed and sparkled moments before are flooded. Tears are not self-conscious. They can spring upon us when we are in public or standing beside others who look to us for strength.

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Finding Courage

I RECALL THE FIRST TIME I watched the children’s classic movie The Wizard of Oz. I was spellbound by the music and the enchanting way in which the simple themes of family, valuing home, and celebrating individual differences were on display. But perhaps the most hilarious character of all was the lion—the bumbling, wimp of a cat, who cowered in fear at the smallest threat. What he needed was courage!

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When God’s in the Whirlwind

BLOW THAT LAYER OF dust off the book of Nahum in your Bible and catch a glimpse of this: He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm. NAHUM 1:3 That’s good to remember when you’re caught in a rip-snorting, Texas frog strangler as I was last week. I reminded myself of God’s presence as the rain clouds were split apart by lightning’s eerie fingers and the ear-deafening claps of thunder. As I witnessed that atmospheric drama, I reminded myself of its Director, who was having His way in the whirlwind.

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Finding Peace in Conflict

PAUL WANTED TO BE IN HEAVEN but needed to be on earth. In a temporal sort of way, this time of year, I share his frustration. I am hard pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and watch the NFL . . . yet to remain in the pulpit is more necessary for your sake. PHILIPPIANS 1:23–24, SWINDOLL PARAPHRASE – Now don’t get me wrong. I love to preach. But I also love professional football.

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Turn Aside to See

LEGEND HAS IT THAT THERE was once a sign along an Alaskan highway that brought a smile to many a motorist: Choose your rut carefully. You’ll be in it for the next 200 miles. We who live in this fast-paced jungle, this never-slowing treadmill of our high-tech society, have no idea how deeply entrenched we are in the rut of routine until we deliberately step aside and give ourselves permission to change our pace. Who can criticize any of that?

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Not Alone

WHEN HAGAR was forced to leave Abraham’s camp, she wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba, a region roughly thirty miles southwest of Hebron.

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Anchor of Renewal

Can you imagine fighting a storm for two weeks and getting virtually no nourishment? That’s what the men on Paul’s ship experienced. Even more amazing, that’s how most people respond to life’s storms.

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Anchor of Stability

The anchor of stability holds firm when your navigation system fails. It’s easy to lose your bearings in the storm. You can’t find your way through the circumstances you face. Life rolls along fairly smoothly until suddenly the seas grow rough.

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Straight Thinking

Have you ever felt the ground move under your feet? Do you know what it’s like to pitch from side to side in a small boat on strong seas? Have you ever had to run for cover, dodge bullets, or duck out of the way of advancing troops?

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Sufficient Grace

Release the idea that contentment requires comfort. Contentment is possible no matter how dire your circumstances. While under house arrest, Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”

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