In The Storm

IN THE STORM

Jacob Ricks

Wild fires. Economic uncertainty. Political unrest. Earthquakes. Pandemics. We have experienced all of these in the last few weeks in Northern Nevada. WAIT!… I feel like this is last week’s devotional…!!  As Roy said Sunday, this week’s message is a “one-off”… not connected to a series. And yet, I think it has so much to do with what we talked about last week!  But today, let’s focus in on the storms that we experience as individuals.

Financial trouble. Job uncertainty. Kids that are off-the-rails. A diagnosis that is incomprehensible. Fear of the future – of political unrest and rumors of war (see Matthew 24). Mental health struggles and addiction. For some of us, storms come once-in-a-while in life and are catastrophic – like a hurricane. But for others, the storms hit us over and over and over and wear us down over time – like a long, drawn out winter of little snowstorms and cold-spells one after another.

I’ve experienced both kinds of storms in my life. I’ve walked through the devastating storm of addiction. I’ve watched my dependence on chemicals destroy my career. I’ve watched my craving to feel good ravage my relationships – not least of which was my marriage. I’ve watched myself seek after who I thought I should be take precedence over who I actually am. I’ve also walked through the more common storms in life.  Kids doing their thing and me judging my parenting based on their behaviors (or my perception thereof). Communication struggles in marriage. Trying to figure out what the financial priorities of my family are (vs the financial priorities of my wants). Wondering why the dreams I had as a young man are not being fulfilled.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the years – and I’m sure I’ve missed twice as many! But one thing I know: I need PEOPLE in my life to help me through the storms! I need people speaking into my life in order to BATTLE my storms. I need people to stand beside me as I BATTLE the things that fight against me for my family, my ministry, my very life. I need people to be encouraging to me as I encourage others. I need people helping me to believe – to believe in myself and my worth, to believe that there is hope, to believe that Jesus loves and cares for ME! People are an integral part of any recovery. People – in the midst of the storm – help guide us to trusting God as we move through the storm. I could not have and cannot now negotiate life without my church community and my group of friends speaking into my life.

My life verse is in Psalm 61: “When my heart is overwhelmed, take me to the Rock that is higher than I”. I love this verse because it gives me permission to be overwhelmed with the storms of life… if the Psalmist was, I can expect to be!  It gives me hope because there is a Rock – a firm foundation – that is above and beyond my storm that I can look to for hope. But most significantly, it says that I need help getting to that hope – from PEOPLE! 

We have so many opportunities to CONNECT to PEOPLE at LifePoint!  Please come to the upcoming Fall Family Kick Off or visit lifepointnv.com/events to find out more.

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