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.

 

Advertisements

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.

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.

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.)

2. Calm Hearts

lynn2. Keep a Calm Heart

The heart is the lifeline of our lifeship. It resembles the ship’s motor. If the motor dies, the ship dies. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). When you fail to keep your heart right, your ship will capsize.

The Captain, Jesus Christ, spoke about the heart of your ship. “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). We look on the beauty of a ship. But will it hold the water back? Can you cross the Red Seas and Jordans in your life?

If you, as a Christian sailor, heed your Captain’s warnings, you will dwell safely and be quiet from the fear of evil. Jesus will give you peace and calm even in the midst of dire circumstances.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. “Be careful for nothing” means “Do not worry about anything.” God says pray and supplicate or beg Him for it. You can do this on the basis of His promises in His holy Word, the Bible. When you meet these conditions, He will give you the peace of God which surpasses our finite understanding.

Earlier in my life, I fell into a depressed state four times. When trials come my way, I feel troubled at that time. God has helped me so that I can deal with it and not stay in that state of mind.

Once, vandals trashed my place. That night I stayed in Mom’s condo and slept like a baby. I woke up with a smile on my face. Nothing I could do about my circumstances gave me this calmness and joy. Only my God can do that.

God has promised you and me peace. He said, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isa. 26:3). Do you trust in Him when everything seems against you? God knows all about it, and wants to give you His peace.

All Scriptures are taken from the King James Version. This article is based on Lynn’s book: Our Lifeship: A Study in Proverbs for Women. May we stay calm on life’s troubled seas. Get help on staying calm at http://www.writingfrommyheart.com

A New Beginning

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new  (2 Cor. 5:17).

As we celebrate the New Year, those in Christ have cause for rejoicing. God made His children new persons.

Jesus Christ came unto us and gave us a new hope. In 1 Peter 1:3-4 He says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” This eternal hope gives His own a confidence no man can take from us.

The Word of God speaks of several new things:

  • The new relationship of God with man.
  • The new desire of man for God’s Word.
  • The new life of man.

In1 Cor. 6:19 we are told “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” We belong to God and His Holy Spirit dwells within us.

When Christ comes in, He gives us new desires. One of these is for His Word. Before we did not understand it, but now we love it and hunger for it.

Then He gave us a new life, a life of victory over sin. The Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit in our life: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22-23). This does not mean a life free from affliction, but a productive life.

Ellen lay in bed wracked with pain. The pastor chatted with her husband. In the background he heard Ellen. “How are the people in my church?” In the midst of all her pain, she was concerned about her church.

At last Ellen was able to attend church again. She stood and gave her testimony. “When I have pain in the middle of the night and cannot sleep, I’m thankful,” she said. “It gives me more time to pray.”

Later,  she sat in a wheelchair in a nursery home. “How are you?” she asked. “You know Jesus is with you.” She continued her ministry of cheering visitors and the other residents.

This is as Ezekiel 36:26 says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” God givesus a new heart and a new spirit that reaches out to others.

In this month of new beginnings you and I can pray: “Dear Lord, help me live a life of victory. May the fruit of the Spirit be manifest in my life. Help me reach out to others. This New Year’s Day may others see Christ in me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

(All Scripture is from the King James Version.)

12. Hope and Trust in God

Numbers 13-14; Joshua 14

The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish…Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope (Prov. 10:28; Zech. 9:12).

In the book of Proverbs “the righteous” are the just, those declared righteous by God. When God looks down from Heaven, He buried their sins in the deepest sea (Mic. 7:19).

Moses, by God’s command, sent out twelve spies to spy out the land of Canaan. At this time Caleb was forty, and one of the spies. Because Caleb trusted God, he followed Him wholly.

“Taste this honey, Joshua.”

“Ummmm, good.”

“Can you help me carry back these grapes, Joshua.”

“Sure, Caleb.”

“Here, I’ve got this pole cut down. Did you ever see such big grapes, Joshua?”

“No, and they’re so delicious.”

“Let’s gather some pomegranates and figs in our baskets.”

“I never tasted such good fruit.”

***

“The land of Canaan flows with mild and honey,” ten of the spies reported. “But,” they said, “Giants live there in great walled cities. We saw them and felt like grasshoppers. We cannot overcome them.”

“Oh yes we can,” Caleb said. “Let’s go up right away and conquer the land. The Lord will give it to us.”

The people said, “Let’s stone Caleb and Joshua. They speak foolishly.”

“These ten men shall not see the land,” a voice thundered. “They will die by a plague. The people will wander in the wilderness forty years.”

However, Caleb and Joshua lived. They had a different attitude. God said because Caleb followed Him wholly, He would bring him into the land of Canaan.”

Forty-five years later Caleb reminded Joshua of God’s promise. He said, “Give me this mountain. I can drive out the giants.”

“You, Caleb, have wholly followed the Lord.  You can have this mountain. The Lord has given it to you.” At eighty-five he drove out the giants and the land had rest from war.

The spies had their eyes on the circumstances and their own ability. They died in the wilderness.

Caleb and Joshua had their eyes on the LORD and His might, and God gave the victory. None of us are sufficient in ourselves, but only in God.

Giants stalk all our paths. A few years ago I came home to a giant. Vandals had trashed out my house. I saw it and felt utterly helpless.

That night I slept at Mom’s house. God gave me sweet sleep. The next day I awoke with a smile and deep peace in my heart.

My friends, knowing of my plight, helped me conquer this giant. It took us a full day to clean up.

If I had trusted in my own resources, this giant would have defeated me. By God’s strength we overcame it.

Other giants have threatened my life and my property. When I trust in myself, I fail. If I look up to Jesus, He gives me victory.

We all face giants in our lives. Your giants may wear a different face than mine. As we trust in God and then step out in faith, we can conquer the giants in our lives.

Your giants may wear a different face than mine, but we can conquer as Caleb did when we place our faith and hope in Christ. “Faith, humility, and peace keep us afloat as we sail on troubled seas” (Taken from Our Lifeship by Lynn Wallace, page 19).

Bio:

Ambassador-Emerald International published Lynn’s book, Our Lifeship: Studies in Proverbs for Women. (See www.writingfrommyheart.com) 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.