Calm or Turbulence

lynnFor he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still” (Psa. 107:25, 29).

Jesus stilled the storm and made it a calm when His disciples cried out, “Save us: we perish” (Matt. 8:25). He also gives us a calm in our souls.

Storms came into my soul when I thought, I cannot do anything about my emotions. Without realizing it, I had failed to trust God who can do the impossible. At that time I neglected to apply my life verse, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (1 Thess. 5:24). Three times nervous breakdowns disabled me after I came to Christ. Each time I returned home from a field of service.

After I went to the Navajo mission field, and met the man who became my husband, I suffered no more breakdowns. However, I still thought, I cannot do anything about my nerves. I bypassed their true names: burdens, worries, anxieties. My pastor counseled me, “Lynn, you carry too many burdens.” I did not understand the simple verse, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you” (1Pet. 5:7). In my heart I kept calling them “nerves.” It took years for me to grasp the truth of this Scripture.

After my husband passed on to Heaven, I experienced blessed communion with my Lord. My “nerves” took flight. On the following night, the devil battled against me. My “nerves” started to return. I prayed, “Lord, please take them away.” Again they flew away. Now, troubles still face me, but I am learning to cast my cares upon Jesus. When tempests come, the Captain gives a calm. “My peace I give unto you,” He promises me in 1 John 15:27.

We all face an enemy. Satan and his allies challenge us daily in warfare. Though we cannot see him, he is real. If we allow the Captain to lead us, we will win. However, when we insist on our own way, we will fall into the devil’s traps. God’s Logbook says, Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Let us continually remember that our Captain is greater than our enemy.

What can we do? Jesus tells us to put on the gospel armor which He provides (Eph. 6:10-18). His Logbook tells us, “Pray in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20). He warns us to watch out for the enemy and endure hardness. Trust in Him, and God will give us the victory.

 

11. Hope in God’s Mercy

lynnPsalm 147

God showed mercy to Joseph when his brothers sold him into slavery. Potiphar, an Egyptian officer, bought him. “The LORD was with Joseph,” and he made him prosper in His master’s sight. “Joseph found grace in his sight.” Potiphar made him overseer over all he had. When Joseph refused to sin with his master’s wife, she lied against him. Potiphar believed his wife, and “his wrath was kindled.” He put Joseph in prison.

Even in prison God was with Joseph. “The LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy.” He “gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” This man committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners.

Later, Joseph is brought before Pharaoh. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, dreamed two troubling dreams. He told his dreams to Joseph. He interpreted these dreams which had the same meaning. In them God told Pharaoh seven years of plenty would come. They would be followed by seven years of famine. God gave Joseph wisdom, not only to interpret the dreams, but to advise Pharaoh what to do. This pleased Pharaoh, and God extended mercy to Joseph through him. He set Joseph over all his land. Not only was Joseph released from prison, but he became a ruler. (See Genesis 39-41 for the full story.)

God showed mercy to me, too. Growing up, I was a shy, bashful kid. It appeared that I would not amount to much. I feel so unworthy of God’s mercies toward me.

When in the seventh or eighth grade, I heard that Jesus died for sinners and rose again from the dead. It must be true, I reasoned, because it comes from the Bible. I believed it in my head and thought of myself as a Christian. However, I did not know what a true Christian was.

Years later, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. “Repent. Lynn, you are a sinner. Christ died for your sins. He arose from the dead that you might live. Repent.”

Then I fell upon my knees by my bed, and Jesus came to live in me. When I arose, peace like a river flooded my heart. Though unworthy, He made me His child.

My life has not been perfect since, but His mercy does not leave me. He promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). His mercy to us unworthy creatures is everlasting.

Much time passed. In my mid-thirties He called me to the Navajo mission field. Leon Wallace came to the same place where I was. We prayed and believed that the Lord wanted us to serve Him together. We married. God gave us a daughter who presently studies law and manages a business.

Sixteen years later on June 22, 1987, God called my beloved husband home. What will I do now? I pondered. In about a week I visited a church where the pastor preached about writing. He described my shanty that he had never seen. I knew the Lord was speaking to me. Since that time I’ve been writing.

In 2008 Ambassador International published my first book, Our Lifeship: A Study in Proverbs for Women. Now I am seeking opportunities to speak. In myself I am not worthy; God gives me grace and mercy to help me. Butterflies flutter in my stomach as I plan to do power point, a new thing for me. By His grace and mercy I can do it. I cannot give up.

God delights in mercy. He takes pleasure in all who fear Him and hope in His mercy. Have you placed your trust and hope in Him? In Hebrews 6:19 the Lord says this is a “sure hope.”

My book, Our Lifeship, is available from Lynn’s website: http://www.writingfrommyheart.com. Watch for changes to this site from time to time.

10. Calm in Our Calling

Not Called to the Navajo?

“Lord, please show me what to do,” I sighed. “I’m trying to serve You here, but it’s not cutting it.”

For over three years I went through the motions of Christian service, but my heart did not palpitate with joy. Then I concluded, God is through with me.  I’ll just have to do the best I can.

Then Ron, a missionary to the Navajo, came to our church. He perceived that my heart was not really in my Christian service. He asked me, “What about the Navajo?”

I replied, “I’m not called to the Navajo.” I reasoned, The Navajo language is too hard.  I can speak a little Spanish.  I think God can use me with the Spanish people.

However, nothing opened up with the Spanish-speaking or any other door. One door opened—I did not want to go to the Navajo.

Ron returned one year later. Again he preached for one week in our church.  “Come visit us,” he invited me. “Plan to stay a week or two.”

Wow! I thought. I don’t get many vacations.  I’ll take this opportunity to get away. I said, “Okay, I’ll go for a week.” That one week changed my life.

One day we bounced sixty-five miles in a Volkswagen Bug. Finally, we arrived at Whitewater, a remote area on the backside of the Navajo reservation.

We walked into a small building. Don started a fire in the wood stove. Berta took an empty coffee can, filled it with water and coffee, and set it on the stove. We ate our lunch and washed it down with sweet ice tea and coffee. In the corner of the room sat an old dusty piano.

Before the service we went visiting.  A young Navajo woman said, “Yá’áát’éáh” (a Navajo greeting) as I approached her.

Yá’áát’éáh,” I replied. I just spoke a word in that impossible language, I thought.

Then we returned to the meeting house where a small crowd had gathered. As I played the rusty upright piano, The people sang in Navajo. Something in my heart kept rhythm with the strange words.

Later, I asked Don, “Bro. Don does yá’áát’éáh mean hello?”

He replied, “You’re a pretty good Navajo. God answered my argument, “I can never learn that language,” with one word.

However, I still protested, “I’m not called to the Navajo.”

My last evening in Navajoland I spent in the guest room with my Bible. I turned to Isaiah 42:6, 7: “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness…To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”

God spoke to me. “Who is as blind as the Navajo? Do they not sit imprisoned by a hopeless religion and in spiritual darkness? Lynn, I want you to go to the Navajo.” I knew God had called me, a single woman, to the Navajo.

When we obey, God blesses. He gave me a husband, Leon, a missionary to the Navajo. He does not call all of us to be missionaries, but He does call each of us to do His will.

9. Calm in Trials

9. Calm in God’s Pavilion 

“For months Ellen’s body wracked with pain,” her husband, said. She lay helpless from two compressed disks in her back. He winced as he helped her with simple needs like personal hygiene and eating.

Ellen had said, “My hobby is helping others.” For months she lay unable to help even herself. Riveting pain often interrupted her sleep. In those long pain-filled hours she turned her thoughts to the Lord.

After many months flat on her back, Ellen rejoiced to be able to attend church again. “I’m thankful,” she testified. “When I can’t sleep at night, it gives me more time to pray.”

After she became a widow, she moved to a nursing home, debilitated and in a wheel chair. “How are you?” she asked residents, wheeling toward them. “Jesus is with you.”

How did Ellen think of others when she faced such great needs of her own? She testified, “I have known the Lord about forty years, and I still have much to learn. I place my full dependence upon Him.”

Ellen displayed contentment. Her heart seemed to be somewhere other than the nursing home. Perhaps she found a secret hiding place—a place of renewal.

Psalm 27:5 promises, “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion” (KJV). The essence of prayer is entering into God’s pavilion. Ellen entered and knew how to remain there, especially during adversity. Now she resides in Heaven.

Do we complain when swallowed up by pain? When troubles come do we still have a thankful heart? Do we pray in the face of unwanted circumstances that threaten to consume us? Prayer is responding to God’s invitation to enter into His pavilion, where He hides us under His safe covering. Like Ellen, we can depend on Him and live with a heart full of joy.

Dear Lord, help me to remain thankful when I suffer pain. Equip me to endure troubles. Give me, like Ellen, the habit of helping others. In times of trouble, hide me in Thy pavilion. Thank you, Father, for the safe, tranquil place of prayer where Thou embracest and careth for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This is a reprint article by Lynn Wallace, © 1960. It went online in November 1960 on Prayer Support for Women. This does not appear to still be online.

Bio: Ambassador-Emerald International published Lynn’s book, Our Lifeship: Studies in Proverbs for Women. Periodicals published about eighty of her articles and fillers. Accent Publications published two of her curriculum packages. Leon, her late husband, and she served on the Navajo field several years.She plays the piano for Canyon View Baptist Church in Montrose, Colorado. She enjoys jeeping, reading, and artwork. writeheart@montrose.net. www.writingfrommyheart.com (Our Lifeship available from PayPal.)

7. Calm from Bible

7. Calm from God’s Logbook 

“As a sailor steers her lifeship, she gains knowledge of the Captain and His ways from her Logbook, the Bible.”1 

When we sweltered in the summers in Dallas, we rolled down our car windows for air conditioning. Another car stopped at the red light and blared out loud music. What a relief when the light turned green. 

The occupants of that car had not learned godly wisdom from that rock music. Such lyrics take sailors away from church and away from God. They entice them with the world’s ways and wisdom. 

On the other hand a prudent woman gets wisdom from the Captain’s Logbook. She feasts on it. God said to Ezekiel, “Eat this roll” (my Word, Eze. 3:1). 

He said, “Then did I eat it, and it was in his mouth as honey for sweetness” (Eze. 3:3). 

Not only does the prudent woman read, study, memorize, and meditate upon the Logbook. She also listens intently when a preacher reads and expounds upon it. She loves this sweet music she hears at church. 

Do we delight in understanding? To what and to whom do we listen? 

Prayer: Lord, help my understanding that I may learn godly wisdom from my Logbook. May it always be sweet music to my ear. 

Endnotes:

1. From Our Lifeship: A Study in Proverbs for Women by Lynn Wallace, Ambassador International, page 11. Learn how to stay calm, www.writingfrommyheart.com.

6. Keep Calm by Pleasing God

6. Please God

Ellen and Chuck met some people with handicaps. They thought, “We can help these people.” 

They went to their pastor. “We know some special people,” they said. “Some limp and use a cane or walker. Others roll themselves in wheelchairs. Harold can’t talk plain. Several have hearing problems. We’d like to help these people. Can we start a class for them.” 

“Yes,” the pastor agreed. 

Every Sunday I saw these “special people” limp or roll in on wheelchairs. Jesus Christ stepped in and redeemed some of these special souls. 

When Ellen went forward to pray with one of these women, it blessed my heart. 

Sometimes, one got noisy. In her quiet way Ellen took that one of of the service. I marvelled at her patience. 

“What have you learned from these special people?” I asked. “We learned that you don’t stop because you have a problem. Keep going on.” 

My only daughter was born normal. However, I found it difficult to raise her without a daddy when he went to be with Christ. Ellen taught me not to give up, but to keep pressing onward. 

A compressed disk in her back forced Ellen to retire. She did not complain. She depended on Chuck to get her up and down. When able to attend church again, she testified, “When I can’t sleep at night, I’m thankful. It gives me more time to pray.” 

When Chuck’s heart failed him, leaving Ellen a widow, she moved to Valley Manor, a nursing home. She continued reaching out to others in this place. I only heard her complain once because she could not speak to others. 

Ellen would readily admit she has her faults, but to me she set forth an example of a woman who pleased God. He says that it pleases Him when we obey His command to love one another” (1 John 3:22-23). My friend certainly loved others. 

Now she has met her Lord. This godly sailor resides in Heaven where her beloved husband dwells. 

God does not call all of us to reach out to the handicapped as Ellen did, but we can all show our love to others. When we put others before ourselves, it helps bring calm to our hearts. 

Bio: This article is based on a section in Lynn’s book, Our Lifeship: A Study in Proverbs for Women. You can see more about it at www.writingfrommyheart.com. Thank you for your interest.

8. Calm from the Saviour

8. Calm from my Saviour

“I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 3:10-11, KJV).

We moved back to Colorado. Our house lacked plumbing. We had running water. You went outside and primed the pump to get it. We heated water on the wood stove. We put pots under the beds which spared us from running out to the outhouse in the dark of night.

Dad, a mechanical engineer, built the farmhouse back in 1936. He said, “I’m going to build a nice house on the other side of Spring Creek. It’ll have electric lights and a toilet that flushes.”

His words made me jump up and down. As a little child, I watched Dad lay the foundation. I handed him nails while he put up the support posts. Though a small child at the time, I can still visualize those 2×4’s.

After what seemed like a long time, Dad finished building our “palace.” I turned on the hot water faucet and blinked as the hot water poured out. I pushed on the toilet fixture and jumped with delight when it flushed. I flicked the light switch and the light came on.

At first Mom cooked on a wood burning stove. Some delicious meals came from that stove. Yum! Yum! Yum!

Our farmhouse withstood the test of time; it still stands after 70 plus years. How about our building—the Christian life?

The Rock, Jesus Christ, laid a firm foundation for this building. When we plant our feet firmly on Him, the winds of doubt will not sweep away our building.

God says, “Let every man take heed how he buildeth” upon this foundation (1 Cor. 3:9). If we build wisely, we will lay up gold, silver and precious stones. This pleases God and we will reap a reward.

If we build unwisely, we will lay up wood, hay and stubble. Our building will burn up; only our souls will be spared. God says, “We will be saved so as by fire” in such a case.

How are we building our lifeship upon the foundation, Jesus Christ? Do we construct it with wood, hay and stubble? Or do we employ gold, silver, and precious stones? One day we will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Captain will judge each of on how we built our lifeship. Will our building stand the test of time?

Bio: Lynn lives on her parents’ farm where she watches deer at play. Robins, mourning doves, sparrows, and other birds hunt for dinner. Hawks and bald eagles fly overhead. Her late husband and Lynn served as missionaries to the Navajo Indians for several years. After the Lord took her husband home to Heaven, He called Lynn to write for Him. About eighty articles found publication. Accent Bible Curriculum published two of her Sunday School packages. Ambassador-Emerald, International published her first book, Our Lifeship: Studies in Proverbs for Women. (A shorter piece is in this book.)