When the storms come, we need something to remind us that we can get through them. We need something to inspire us.
I live on high alert, looking for inspiration, craving it. Heaven knows I need it. Hell, if we're honest about it, we all do. And thankfully, it's everywhere, in all kinds of people, in every part of the world, in our crappy and our beautiful circumstances. Sometimes we need only sit and be still to find what we need to get us through.
Early this morning, with the sky still dark and the rain from the outer bands of Hurricane Matthew dripping down my window, I stumbled across powerful words of inspiration for all, regardless of where you are in the world, where you are in your life, what winds blow or what calm seas you enjoy, regardless of what religion you follow or what you call God. This is inspiration that is meant to be savored:
The Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. - Zephaniah 3:17
I wonder if this hits you like it hit me. It astounds me to imagine that God delights in me with gladness. Delights. In me. One who tries and misses the mark. Me. So human and far from perfect. Me, who only has to be me and love Him. And love you. And that's all.
And He delights in you, too. It's worth stopping and taking that in. It's big stuff.
A couple weeks ago, I walked out into my yard, wanting to feel something fresh and new and alive during a time of ongoing struggle. I started as I always do, saying out loud the things I'm grateful for, and then the words stopped. I stumbled in lost prayer, unsure of what to say or ask for. My life felt bigger than I could handle and I had few words.
"I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. What should I do with all of this? Please. Guide me. Show me what to do."
Then I sat in the tearful quiet, empty, with no expectation. There was just silence and a deep need and openness that come when we realize we don't have the answers. And then these words resonated from a place within me that I believe is Holy:
"Sit and bask in My love and goodness, in forgiveness and grace. Let it wash through you and fill you and cover you. That is enough. My presence is enough. You don't have to do anything. Just feel my Love for you. I am with you."
I was flooded with warmth and Love and peace. And I had done nothing to gain that except open myself to it. When I was open, He filled me.
"The Lord your God is living among you.... With His love, He will calm all your fears."
With His love. That's it. That's all we need to ease our fears and anxieties, to quiet the doubt and anger and hurt. He is with us. He is in us. His love is enough. He is enough. If we let Him fill us.
When we are full, we can pour into others the same Love and Grace and Goodness that God gives us. Today, with the rain and the winds and the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, with the devastation of many kinds of life storms pounding the window panes of our souls, reach deep inside and then reach out. Give to those without food and shelter. Give hope and Love to those who are empty emotionally or Spiritually. Take. And give.
May we be filled. And may we fill one another.
In Love, peace and gratitude....