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· kept in His hands
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During an evening service one night at church, there was a great time of worship and singing. I could feel the presence and peace of God. I prayed for God's strength and courage to face my fears. As I closed my eyes, I saw this mental picture-a small wooden boat fighting hard against a huge, powerful storm.

I begin to think about this dark and stormy scene, applying it to my own life. Here I was, a small boat, fighting hard against what seemed like an invincible storm-a storm of fear. As the huge waves came crashing in, the boat was barely visible. I felt just like that small boat-thrashed, thrown, tossed up and down by the waves of terror and turmoil.

But, there was something very interesting about this scene: the boat was headed directly into the storm, waves crashing against the bow. The boat wasn't being driven by the storm. Rather, it was driving directly into the storm.

Now, I have no naval or sea-faring skills, but I will share what I have learned. When a storm approaches, the best course of action for any watercraft is to steer directly into the oncoming storm. First of all, this provides the most stable course for the vessel. If the boat is sideways when the storm hits, the smallest of waves can easily topple the craft. Secondly, if the boat is being driven by the storm, rather than against it, then the storm experience will last much longer, because you are being carried by the storm (read Acts 27).

I believe this picture I "saw" last night was God's way of showing me that I must face my fears head on, that I must steer my life right into the storm. (Psychiatrists call this "Exposure Therapy", where you confront your fears directly.) It's not a pleasant experience. In fact, it takes a lot of courage. But I believe with all of my heart that God will be with me as I enter the storms of discouragement and doubt.

"The floods have lifted up, O LORD,
The floods have lifted up their voice;
The floods lift up their waves.
The LORD on high is mightier
Than the noise of many waters,
Than the mighty waves of the sea" (Psalms 93:3-4).

We live in a stormy world, and those worldly waves will crash hard against you. You can seek out the most comfortable course, but the storms will continue to rage. You can't outrun them. It's only when you charge headstrong into the storm that you will get through the storm. And always remember God is bigger than the storm, and he promises to guide you and protect you if you will trust in him.

Prayer: Father, storms can be very fearful. They are so strong, so powerful. I don't want to face these storms alone. Give me the strength and courage I need to turn my life directly into the storm so that I can pass through it quickly. Be with me in these storms.


| Russell Pond <><
| Season of Peace
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