After the Storm

Written by Dorothy Brown

**Are you picking up after a storm right now? Can we pray for you? http://thelife.com/interactive/share.html

by Marilyn Ehle

“The rains came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock” (Matthew 7:25).

It was a familiar sight in New Orleans, in East Asia, in Latin America. The winds died down, the storm surge receded, thunder and lightning faded. As far as the eye could see, gardens were littered with broken tree branches, caved roofs, cars piled up like children’s toys. Homeowners returned to their ruined property to salvage bits and pieces of their lives and tearfully made small piles of what could be saved. In one small pile we see a child’s doll, a chipped vase, waterlogged family pictures and a half-burned candle. Nothing of material value exists to describe a lifetime of hard work.

If in mere minutes or hours all that is material can be thus destroyed, how sad that we spend the greater portion of our time, energy and resources in pursuit of it.

Jesus said it was wise builders who constructed their houses—their lives—on the only thing, the only One, who cannot be destroyed, who cannot be touched by the storms of life. For those people, what is left after the storm cannot be counted, weighed or measured but consists of all that has true and lasting value.

~Father, help me use my time and talents in a way that honors You. Help me portion my time in the wise pursuit of all that is eternal even as I work hard to provide a living for myself and my family.

Questions to ponder: This would be a good time to take stalk of what our priorities are and are they of eternal value? Are you using your time and talents in a way that honors God?

About the Author
This devotional was written by Marilyn Ehle. Read more about Marilyn: http://www.talk.thelife.com/authors/marilyn-ehle/
 

27 Responses to “After the Storm”

  • Nayeem says:

    I wish all the best and pray for you all.

  • eve says:

    thank you Maureen. What beautiful words.. think i have heard the song before and it is really comforting.

    June and Fran, what would i do without your words of encouragement and love across the globe. (((((hugs))))) June, we share the same name.

    The storm rages on..
    Trust in His power and hold on.
    For i am weak, but He is Strong.
    And to Him i belong…

  • Fran D. says:

    Dear Eve,

    God Bless you ..and look how much HE loves you that encouragement reached from all across this world for you..even from Kenya in dear Maureen! HE silences the storms will never leave nor forsake thee(Hebrews 13:5)..Feel the Love coming towards you and the prayers from us all!! This storm WILL pass in Jesus Powerful Name!! (((((((Eve)))))))

    Thank you, too, dear June L! Your maillady is bringing anointed materials to your door this week in all those wonderful books..and you share the knowledge in them, too..A dear, sweet “missionary” right here in GA..that blesses us all! xoxoxo

  • June L says:

    Thank you Maureen in Kenya. You are an encouragement to me. Isn’t God good to allow our paths to cross here.

    Eve, have also prayed Maureen’s precious prayer for you. Remember He is with you…I will never leave nor forsake you. Psalms 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.”

  • Maureen says:

    Hello ladies, it’s been a great weekend for me,coming in today and finding all these messages in my mail box,blessed my heart.June L you’re a precious lady in the lord. You’re words of encoragement in the midst of need are remarkable.Eve,there’s a song that blesses and lifts my spirit even when I don’t understand what’s happening;these are the words hope you receive encouragement.
    Hide me now, under your wings,(May you be hidden in Him even at this time…)
    Cover me,
    Within your mighty Hand.(May you sense and know forsure He’s covered you with His precoius Blood)

    Chorus: When the oceans rise and thunders roar,
    I will sow with you above the storm,
    Father you are King over the flood,
    I will be still, Know you are God(May this be your testimony today and always…..)

    Find rest my soul,(May your soul and all that’s in you find complete Rest in Christ Jesus…)
    In Christ Alone,
    Know His power,
    In Quietness and Trust(And through this Storm, may you Encounter God and Know Him intimately…)
    Be Still my soul and know I Am God(This is my prayer for you).Be Still and know He is God.Peace to you dear Eve, great joy and jubilation awaits you.Peace to you.

    God’s blessing to all you precious ladies.

    Maureen
    Kenya.

  • eve says:

    i am trying to stand still in the storms of my life, but i am feeling overwhelmed. i am trying to stand firm in faith, but the wind is whipping me all around like a rag doll. Satan in on the prowl like a roaring lion encircling me. i feel small and powerless. Help me Lord, for you are strong, help me.

  • June L says:

    Thank you Fran. I know I am in the care of the Great Physician, and He will use my Christian doctors on the 29th as vessels only. I am praying the praises will be like my 1st cornea transplant. There were so many people praying…as I’ve mentioned before. Everytime my Christian eye surgeon would check my eyes the 1st few months after surgery he would say: “The good Lord has been looking after you!” Then about a year after surgery he said: “Don’t tell my other patients how your eye has healed perfectly. They might expect the same, and they aren’t even supposed to heal this perfectly.” I always enjoyed my visits to him because we would praise the Lord together. Of course, I did tell everyone, and gave God the credit…which he sincerely approved. That doctor is in Dallas, Texas at Southwestern now, and I miss him.

    I have ordered “The Hiding Place”, “Prayers and Promises for Everyday”, “Five Silent Years of Corrie ten boom”, “Not good if Detached”, all books are by, or about Corrie. I’ve also ordered “I’ve Got to talk to somebody God”, by Marjorie Holmes. I had most of Corrie’s books back in the seventoes and eighties. I have loaned them or lost them and forgot what was in some of them. I’m not sure if I had: “Clippings from my notebook”, or not. I will try to find it at Amazon.com where I found the others. My postman will feel special as I greet her this week looking for my books. I am so excited. I do remember two short stories in one of her books which obviously made a lasting impression on me. One of them was “My chocolate sermon” about her ministry to German ladies after the war. Another was about her leading hard criminal prisoners to the Lord after she shared her prison story with them. She had to get up on a stool (she was short) and yell above the noise “Once, when I was in prison” which silenced them, and she spoke. She was old at the time and she said they were silent and listened because they just had to find out why an old lady like her was in prison. She was so wise…which she always credited to the Lord. If you remember she would say things like: “The Lord told me to take chocolates to the ladies…” and “The Lord told me to stand on a stool, and yell to the prisoners…” When she obeyed the Lord, great things would happen.

    I have prayed for all you fine ladies today. May His many blessings this week bring you much joy.

  • Fran D. says:

    For June L

    You “PEACE” will continue, dear June L! And just think your surgery is being prayed about all over this world. This morning am asking that you have one of the fastest recoveries recorded ..and that the pain is minimal, too! And? That you feel better than new when you get beyond the surgery! God is soooooo GOOD!Thank YOU for all your prayers and encouragement to others. It thrilled my heart to see Jackie in her comment above being touched by the Corrie ten Boom books! This a “circle of love” that reaches all over the country and beyond! Praying for Jackie, too, whose burden is great, but whose faith is bigger!! And, for all you other dear ladies who’ve requested prayer.. Amen and Amen and AMEN!!!

  • June L says:

    My name is Evelyn June. I use June here.

  • June L says:

    Ladies, I am taking another break from cleaning, and preparing my home for 3 months of not being able to do much. Commenting here is my relaxation and my down time. Yes, I take many breaks…one of the rewards for being retired. I have put some of my volunter jobs on hold because of my husbands surgery, and because of my health.

    Many of you said you would pray for me beginning last week when I shared with you about my upcoming surgery on August 29th. I just want Fran, Nancy, Sharonb, and any others that have prayed, to know: I FEEL YOUR PRAYERS. Around the end of last week PEACE beyond understanding came over me. It was with me all week and I have been sharing with close family and friends about what peace I have. It clicked in my head yesterday that you ladies were praying as you said you would. Thank you so much precious “sisters in Christ”, “heart friends”, and “prayer warriors”. Praise God for this kind of PEACE that only He can give.

    And thank you sweet ladies for revealing your where abouts.
    We now have Evelyn (me), and Fran from Georgia,USA, Jackie from Indiana USA, Nancy from Michigan USA, Barbara T from Florida USA, Lerria from Dallas, Texas USA, Maureen from Kenya Africa, Dianne from Ohio USA, Barbara from Connecticut USA, Linda from Texas USA, and eve from UK. Lets hear from more of you.

    Most of us are far apart but we are very close in spirit. We are all different in so many ways I’m sure…God made us that way. Yet we are a lot a like in many ways. Like my precious siblings. We have the same parents but are so different in so many ways, and yet a lot a like in many ways. The main thing we ladies have in common is a Heavenly Father that loves us and, accepts us just as we are, warts and all… as Fran so well put it recently. He is with us all the time and “will never leave nor forsake us.” Praise him!!

  • Linda says:

    I am from Texas USA.

  • Barbara C says:

    Greetings Ladies,

    Been very busy lately but it is all good stuff to be busy with and I Thank God for such. For way to long I went from the extremes of doing way to much and having to be in control and making no progress in my relationship with thy Lord and now I finally think I made it through the storms and have found the balance that I so much needed in my life.

    Using my time, my energy and the resources that I have wisely, I am a much more blessed of a person. The guilt and shame that I used to carry around with me because I felt that I was not “Doing enough, giving enough and/or moving forward in life as quickley as everyone else made me feel like a misfit. However, by the blessed workings of the Holy Spirit within I have learned and am still learning that it all comes down to this “Seek Thee First and then all these other things will be added”. With this solid foundation in place now, I am and will be able to be more equipped to handle lifes storms when they arrive in my life agian.

    For know though, Father God has just delivered me out of one of the BIGGEST STORMS of my own life and I am enjoying the rainbow filled days now. Never thought nor imaginged that I would had come through being so much more of a godlier woman and to have a heart that is filled like a pot of Gold now.

    If any of you women are in the midst of a storm PLEASE hang in there and beleive that it shall pass and there will be a beautiful promise that will be awaiting for you once it is all over.

    Barbara C.

    Connecticut

  • jackie says:

    Dianne, In the lat year I have really took a long look at myself and didn’t like what I saw. I always put everything else before people, I done things for people of coarse but it was for my good feeling not theres. I was very selfish.But so many events taught me that I never had real joy or peace till I let God change me, from the inside out. I play now, I visit more, and I spend more time on the things my family will remember.I don’t neglect the things I have to do, they always get done they just don’t come first anymore.
    There is a statement in a corrie ten boom book that really spoke to me ‘children grow and lead lives of their own and leave, the dishes aren’t going anywhere unless you move them.’That is so true, I know my kids will grow and leave, my parents will be summoned to heaven I don’t want to be doing dishes or scubbing the tub when these things take place ((i want to be with them)).
    God wants you to enjoy your life that’s why he gives us joy.
    I’m praying for all the ladies here.God is with us in everything we do and all that we go through , He’s all things to all needs. He’ll get us all through to our victory.Thank all of you for your prayers and encouragements you are truly special people to me.

  • Dianne says:

    Oops! I obviously didn’t proof-read the above!

    Also, why is it that we allow kids and teens almost unlimited time to develop their talents (and say their doing so is a good thing), and then as adults, we are told it’s almost sinful to do the same?

  • Dianne says:

    Hi ladies, I’ve been away from the computer for a few days with a grandson staying here and vacation Bible school to teach (was volunteered to do it).

    As a quick side bar, I live in Ohio, USA. Born in Port Arthur, Ontario (Thunder Bay), my parents moved us to the States when I was a child. We lived a couple of years outside St.Louis, Illinois, before settling in Ohio.

    Do I use my time and talents in a way that honors God? No. Not well. I try to start every day with quiet time, because, for one thing it symbolises, to me, who and what is most important. I do that part well.

    Nowadays, I pray each morning for God to direct my thoughts and actions, granting that my motives be pure throughout the day. I do try to keep in mind what God would want me to do when making choices throughout the day, but I admit that most of the time what I want is what I do.

    I’d like to think that 20-30% of the time, overall, I do God’s will, because that is what it seems like, but I don’t know whether that is really true. Obviously, even at that, I wouldn’t be doing a good job of it.

    My actions, decisions (I like to deny that I make these when I am not doing God’s will) and my emotions tell me that I, not God, am my highest priority. It looks and sounds ugly when I see it written out, but it is the truth. “Want[ing]to want to,” is really where I am in my relationship with God and with doing His will. I hate to say, but if I want to be honest, I have to.

    Needless to say, there isn’t “eternal value” in that.

    I don’t use my talents for God very much, either. I have a lot of them, I know that, although I have found that those I have neglected have deteriorated quite a lot from disuse.

    The parable of the sower is a pretty good example of what has happened with them. My talents have been “someday” things in my adult life for decades, now, and things like carpal tunnel, vision changes, hearing loss (though still mild) etc., have affected the quality of my recent attempts.

    Probably the most noticable change I have experienced is that as a teen I played piano by ear. Now I have trouble carrying a tune at times.

    There is one problem that really bothers me about the talents issue, though. For some unknown reason, I have been “wired” to be slower than most people in doing just about everything (in anatomy classes I found out that there are hereditary differences in the thickness of nerves, and that affects how quickly nerve impulses travel in the body)–including thought processes. On average, I take 1/3 more time than most others do to accomplish a task, for instance (I first got that figure from being tested for reading rate, and I have since occasionally studied myself by tracking the time it takes to do various tasks compared to others. 33% seems to be a pretty much across-the board difference with me.

    So, when I try to be responsible and I do the “work before play” thing, I almost never get to play. I honestly resent that. Because for me, using my talents is a pleasure, which means “play” to me.

    Most of the people around me also hold to the idea that play is secondary to daily responsibilities so I get little to no support in my efforts to use my talents, too.

    Most people are pretty intolerant and judgemental of the idea that I want to “play” before, or instead of, “working.” Even when I have brought up the subject of The Talents now and then, I have still been given a hard time about it. Because using my talents would be pleasurable to me, others see my desire as being selfish.

    Their attitude is that I should just be faster in carrying out my responsibilities, or that I should be satisfied with a lower quality result (yes, I can be perfectionistic, too)in my responsibilities, and then I should be satisfied using the little bit of time i would have left to develop and use my/God’s talents.

    I’m sorry, but you just don’t write a book, paint a painting, or compose a song at 1/2 hour a day, or at 2 hours a week, especially when you still have a pile of dishes sitting in the sink distracting you, or when you are so tired your head is swimming!

    It just popped into my head that I was told, a couple of years ago, that if I can separate my ego from the product, I might be able to use my talents. If I could create, and then let go and not see my art as an extension/expression of myself, I might be given the opportunity to do so.

    I don’t know whether that has any bearing in this matter or not, but the bottom line is that I don’t do a very good job in either area.

  • Fran D. says:

    Dear Jackie,

    Your testimony above powerful and God Bless you for sharing..This puts ALL into perspective for the rest of us… and the Lord is very much with you to have the outlook you do in spite of many challenges in your life right now. Your Heavenly Father is pleased with your remarkable courage..and only one of His Children could react as you are doing..You are revealing His Glory in all this..and like Maureen said your faith and spritual insight in the midst of it is an encouragement to those around you! God Bless you, dear one..Prayers just went up on your behalf here in Georgia!

    (((((((Jackie)))))))

  • Maureen says:

    Hi Ladies,got Fridays’ devotion a bit late, but praise God I’m excited.Marylin’s prayer said it all.Jackie I can’t imagine what you’re going through but the faith and insights you’ve shared are an encouragement.And it’s true our focus need not be what we own but rather people who surround us,and most importantly “Our Family Members”.They are all in God’s hands and there, they are safe, just trust Him to take care of them and you…..too.God bless ,His strength/peace/joy to you and your family. Blessed Weekend ladies.

    Maureen
    Kenya.

  • jackie says:

    I had a huge struggle with this until this year.I always felt like my house, clothes and cars ect. had to be up where my friends were or better.when I would have people over it would be quite honestly to impress them. I feel really stupid for even saying that, but it’s true.I would make my self miserable (aswell as everyone else in my family) making sure everything was perfect just in case someone dropped by. but I guess God didn’t like it because that was my very first strong conviction.
    After I was convicted of my behaviour, my mom had a heart valve replaced along with hypertension,diabetes,congestive heart failure… my dad was dianosed with diabetes prosate cancer,alzhiemers.parkinsons and wasn’t handling mom’s surgery well plus he’s lost his eyesight now as complications.. my sister had a massive heart attack , then a stroke during her heart surgery.
    I’m not at any means saying God done these things because I don’t feel God would , do that just to teach me a lesson. Because god love them too and I honestly know he watches over them as well. but God did use all of this to show me people are more important than things. so what if my house gets messy or I have dog hair on my carpet or dishes in the sink that doesn’t really matter anymore .knowing I have done everything I can to to keep my family close to God and show them I love them is more important, I know without a doubt my parents are ready to be with Jesus now, but I will do my best to care for them as long as God lets me keep them here.

  • June L says:

    Lerria, Dallas is a beautiful city. Our son took his first job there after college, and lived there about 5 years. We are glad he is back in Georgia.

    God bless you for focusing on Him as you ride out this storm. He loves you so. John 3:16. He is faithful and able to take away all your troubles.
    Psalms 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

  • Lerria says:

    I am from Dallas, TX.

  • June L says:

    Ladies, Would those of you that feel led, and don’t mind, give your geographical location. I know some of you do it already. There are some from the UK, Florida, and Indiana. I think it would be interesting to see where different ones are from since: God loves us so that He allowed us to find each other on this “crowded planet.” (See Fran D’s comment August 7th devotion under “Equipped”)
    Have enjoyed the comments today. Bless you all!!

    I am from Georgia, USA.

  • Linda says:

    I would like to receive follup comments.

  • Lerria says:

    God spoke to me through this devotional today. My storm has been happening for two weeks. Thank you for reminding me that God is faithful and for me to look at Him and not my troubles.

    Thank you.

  • Bema says:

    I remember when we moved countries we couldn’t take much with us so when eventually we did get a new home we had to buy new carpet and furniture. I can remember my doubts as I looked at my shining new home about to be invaded by a young mum’s home group + all their babies and toddlers and God having to whisper in my ear “Whose home is this?” “Yours Lord” I replied and saw everything differently. Yes it was his not ours, and I knew right then that damage didn’t matter but doing the will of God did. Yes everything can be gone in a second but if we build up treasure in heaven then that is permanent and can never be lost.Thanks for this reminder today.

  • June L says:

    Earlier, I left this websie and went to my devotion book for reading and prayer. Guess the topic for August 10th!
    The same as this one. God is speaking to me through this devotion and His word.

    The author at the second devotion ends with this: “Are you serving God where He wants you? Are you a little scared as I was of the unknown or of the committment it means? God is so faithful to us, and He deserves our obedience.” Praise Him!!

  • Fran D. says:

    Marilyn..We have a plaque on our little foyer that has this very verse, Matthew 7:25, on it underneath a photo of a warm, inviting cottage..lights all aglow! It reminds us..coming and going from what is really important in this life. The most modest home, with His Light shining out is a prelude to our Eternal dwelling places.. “mansions in Heaven”! Also, despite many financial attacks over recent years? HE caused our home to stand and us remain in it..There’s another little, modest framed copy of the “Promises” on our entryway to remind and encourage! Only the things we do in His beautiful name will survive us! Thank you for this sweet reminder.

  • June L says:

    Thank you Marilyn,
    I have prayed your precious prayer as I know it applies to me as it will many others.

    Blessings to all and have a glorious Friday, and a wonderful weekend!

    Is everyone aware you can click on “Notify me of following comments via e-mail” before you Submit? You miss a lot of comments if you don’t.

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