I don’t matter
One of the first things I learned when in a knock down, drag out fight for the health and safety of someone I love was that I don’t matter. This battle is not about me. When facing a storm, self importance must go!
Others may say, “Take care of yourself” and that is a sensible safeguard to suggest. But I would be the first to say, if in serious air turbulence on a plane, the adult puts his own mask on before his child. Why? Because if you put it on the child and then you pass out, who is going to take care of the child?
So, yes, when we are engaged in a struggle, we must take care of our nutrition, welfare and safety. When Elijah confronted the other prophets, GOD reigned down. But then Elijah was confronted by Jezebel, he ran away, terrified. Why? In some measure because he was tired and hungry. So we must take care of our practical, physical needs when we are caring for others.
But whether a battle for another soul is physical, spiritual or emotional, our needs are not important. Not really. And we must not look to pamper ourselves. This is not the time.
When I don’t matter, I don’t fear
Fear of man is one of the few things that can really stop a spirit-filled mature Believer from fulfilling his or her calling in Jesus. When the thoughts, opinions or feelings of others do not distract us from our battle, we can focus and persevere. We cannot take care of others outside the storm, when we are called to be inside it. Commit them to the LORD and trust them to Him.
LOVE is key, always. But fear is counter to love. It’s important we understand our motives, put our own concerns to the side, and do that which the LORD has called us to do.
Love is never rude
When we face a storm and others are a distraction, we must focus on the battle at hand. But love is never rude, or dismissive, or disrespectful of others. Addressing the interruptions of others is important: we need discernment, wisdom and grace. We do not have to alter our course, but rather weigh up and balance the priority with the desires of others. The storm comes first. If there is room beyond that, what needs attention?
Love does not have to cater to others, be it their needs or their expectations. So often we misperceive expectations anyway; we may think they are asking something of us when really they simply have our best at heart. Either way, it is alright to ignore that which is not priority, so long as we ignore it graciously, lovingly, respectfully. How do we do that? We don’t fret or negate our task. In our hearts, we care for others, though that cannot perhaps be expressed at this particular time.
Above all, trust our own motives
When we battle a storm, we are in crisis. We can trust the LORD and put everything into His hands, and yet, He is calling us to persevere. There is no need to second-guess ourselves when we are committed to doing the task the LORD has assigned us to.
When in a storm, we cannot live life as we normally live. The storm must be addressed. We trust Jesus in the storm and focus all of our attention on him. In doing so, we have not time or space to think about ourselves or in fact, think about others outside the storm. Instead, we carry on our responsibility and entrust others beyond our care to the LORD. Hopefully, they will accept our calling. Loving them will help. But fearing their disappointment does not honour them and is a distraction from the storm and from Jesus. When we have already relinquished our self importance we can trust our motives are pure: simply to overcome the storm, trusting Jesus throughout.
What really matters in a storm
What really matters in any storm is Jesus, because he overcomes the storm for us. Our focus on him diminishes the storm’s power. And if our storm concerns the welfare and safety of another who is defenceless, then we put all of our trust in the Lord for his or her rescue.
Storms do not come to harm us but to grow us. Knowing this get us through and enables us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, the prince of peace, and the light of the world. If we really trust him and believe he is the Son of GOD, then we will know, regardless of the storm, what really matters will overcome, to the glory of GOD the Father.
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Abundant life comes through trusting the Lord through all storm and strife, not looking to the situation nor to ourselves. Jesus will overcome any storm, when we trust him and allow him to do that which he is able.
Psalm 91 for the storm
May angels guard and keep. May we stand in the gap for those who cannot speak. May the LORD Almighty give us long life.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honour him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”