Focus on His Power in the Turmoil of Life

Focus on His Power in the Turmoil of Life

man_with_Yellow_hat_waterfallsSometimes in the turmoil of life we need something to focus on that shows us His power.

Ps. 42:7

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.”

When I lived in Northern California some of my favorite times were sitting on the rocky coast listening and watching as the waves came in. The icy blue water was cold and translucent and the white caps blended through it. As the tide moved in or out the randomness of the movement kept my attention. It just seemed that the heaviness of life washed away with each crashing wave. Life seemed to soften, to soothe as the consuming ocean brought something to focus on. It was then that I could ponder,  think, and  release.

Crashing Waves

The rumbling water was at my feet and yet I couldn’t deny the depth of the seemingly endless ocean. The greatness was incomparable. I loved those times and keep them stored in my memories so that I can even smell the strange but familiar smell of the kelp seaweed on the sandy shore.

There are those times when I  feel confused or overwhelmed. I need something to focus that helps me meditate on  our omnipotent God. The ever increasing power of His greatness can shrink my  troubles into manageable segments if I allow it to.

A few summers ago I was in the middle of some of the roughest times I can remember. I was feeling overwhelmed, confused, lost and certainly overrun with seemingly unmanageable trials. Each morning I would get up with an wringing knot in my stomach and by the end of the day I was so tired from living through the anticipated anxiety. I searched and searched to find a solution but to no avail.  I struggled each day to get up in the morning and at the end of the day a great escape into an interesting TV show seemed to give me a little break. But, after far too many of those days I needed more than the temporary relief of a TV show. I needed something much greater.

So, I remember as clear as day going to my private side porch almost like I had a severe goal in mind with my bible in hand.  I was going to sit down with God. I began to talk with the Lord in an exasperated silent voice. “God, I am my end. I need something from you that is tangible and something that I cannot confuse with my own head or someone else’s words. I am desperate for hope, desperate to know you are here and that you understand. I really need to hear from you. So, I sat quietly for a moment then opened up my bible.

He took me to a passage in Jeremiah. “Oh, my gosh! God, you really heard me.” This passage was all about my situation. Not only does it describe in general terms what I was in the middle of but He even took me to a place where my heart was revealed. No one else could have done that!

Ps. 89:9

“You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.”

Than as I looked further into the story at hand there were such specific details.  He used the words like, “wounds”,” injury”, “forgotten”. Then he moved on to “restored”, “healed”, “rebuilt!” As I read on he spoke of “thanksgiving”, “moving forward” and “increasing.” Then in the last verse of the chapter I was reading it said, ” In days to come you will understand this.”

It was obvious to me that I had heard from the Lord. The similarities and words in this chapter were so in line with where I was at I knew that my God was with me in my trials. Even more, He comforted me with showing me a future that was hopeful and even mysterious. The words brought me to a place of relief and yet some of the ambiguity caused me to wonder how He would fill in the details. My current trials now became more of a building project than a prison of despair.  It was so much like the crashing waves, close and sharp and yet far and mysterious like the ocean. But none the less, real, even tangible.

Uh oh, I got to a place where I stopped:

Jer. 30:11

“I am with you and will save you, declares the LORD. Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”

Discipline me? I didn’t like that part. So I had to think for a moment. Oh, yeah, this is the discipline of the Lord, He loves me.  He doesn’t deal with me like a human would. God is always teaching, loving, kind, and intentional. He doesn’t give me the back of His hand, rather I believe I can trust His discipline to be good. Actually, I turned to a place where I was looking forward to His discipline because I knew it would help me to grow and it would not shame me.

Ps. 25:3

“No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.”

Someday I’ll understand? Oh, yeah sure. Someday?  “Remember, God, I want something NOW!” But even that brought me to a positive place. I knew that in the end of life I would understand all of this. But it didn’t seem that He was talking about at the end of life.  It appeared to be a time sooner than that where I would be given some understanding.

That was several years ago and amazingly, I mean amazingly, the words in that chapter have become more true than I would have ever imagined. I felt heard and comforted by the Lord which was awesome. I received the detail that was written and kept going back to that passage over and over looking for more of the prophetic content to reveal itself to me. And it did!

So, I moved into a place of thankfulness as He said I would. I found this to be a revealing  learning process to look back to that dark time and actually say, “Thank you Lord, for showing me amazing and wonderful things.” I began to see lessons coming into my life and changes in my heart that were so strange to me and yet so wonderful to receive.

I think I am beginning to gain understanding now. As I filter the situation through knowledge, thanksgiving, and lessons learned, the clarity He promised is coming into view. It sure has been a journey, and I wouldn’t want to relive any of it! I still remember the anxiety in my heart, the emptiness in my stomach, and the extreme confusion I was experiencing. But there seems to be a blurry filter that has taken away the edge of what I was feeling. I guess you might call this healing.

I have grown in my knowledge of Him. I have gained better understanding myself and others. My faith has deepened. My heart has changed.

Jeremiah 5:17

“Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.”

Something powerful to focus on? Just look around a little bit. It doesn’t have to be a mighty crashing wave to see His power.


Yesterday I looked into a ceramic pitcher sitting on our side porch. Yes the same porch where God spoke to me years ago. Deep down inside was a grassy nest. It held some hungry tiny baby birds waiting for their mama to return with their food. They were so delicate, so hidden. I thought, this mama found a great place to hide them. I could hardly hear their squeaking in the insulation of the nest and the rim of the pitcher.

But even in that I saw the power of the Lord. His power isn’t a clenched fist ready to punch the wrongdoer. Rather His power is able to crash the waves, contain the ocean and yet to hold the delicacy of these little birds in His hand without hurting them.

I think in the turmoil of my life, both are needed. The strong arm of the Lord and the gentleness of His heart. How about you? Can you feel His power? Can you feel His softened heart?

Is. 59:1

Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.

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2 Responses to “Focus on His Power in the Turmoil of Life”

  1. Gavin Anderson says:

    Very good reminder! Thanks.

  2. Deb Dunlap says:

    Only God has perfect timing. As my soul cries out in these crashing waves, He has heard me! Powerfully contained yet gently loved. Thanks John for letting me in your head!

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