Friday, August 4, 2017


Not in the forecast. Have you had storms in your life that were not in the forecast? I suspect like me, most or even all of the storms in your life were unforseen. The weatherman continues to have a job by giving forecasts that only sometimes slightly resemble what happens in the weather department. Apparently this is a problem that is common to man. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are temped, He will also provide a way out (make a way of escape) so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).  I don’t find these translations as helpful as the paraphrase by Eugene Petersen in The Message. No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 The Message). This reminds us that God is there if we trust Him. This is similar to the admonition of Psalm 23 telling us that, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.” A key to understanding these Scripture promises is that we must trust in Him to get their benefit. I believe that life will overwhelm you and often as you do not trust in all your heart.

Recently I have had a series of storms that came without forecast. We were sued in an accident even though the insurance company had paid the protagonist. We are praying that her faith will allow her to see a reasonable solution.

My work ministry has been an incredible challenge, not from the patients and families I serve, but from the staff with whom I work. I have found my faith and integrity challenged by ambushes designed to gain or not lose a sought after position. I am astounded that fellow chaplains would use manipulation and threats to get their way in ministry situations. These were not “forecast.” Yet, I know that God is good and that He will never leave or forsake me in this, He will provide a way out or through. I have sought the Lord in great anguish over these hostile situations. God has provided me with Scripture that has been very helpful. “If it is at all possible, as much as it depends upon you, be at peace with everyone”(Romans 12:18). I can’t cause someone else to be kind or caring. I can only have control over my own response. Jesus Christ has a lot to say about this, particularly in The Sermon on The Mount. "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift”  (Matthew 5:23-24).

I forgive, as God requires of me. Not doing so is rejecting His gift given in His death on the cross. In other words, if we do not forgive one another, God will not forgive us we can read Matthew 6:14. However in our forgiveness he will give to us, as we do not judge. We must look at the plank that might be in our eyes first before we are to look to anyone.  Sometimes God brings us trials and temptations to mold us to be more like Him. Even when we are mistreated God says, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).  Give your enemy something to eat or drink and you will be pouring hot coals on their heads (Romans 12:20).

It is hard when the storms come without warning or even with warning. We get soaked and even blown around, possibly being injured. The hardest is still the lie that sticks and stones will break our bones, but words will never hurt us. Words hurt, but God heals.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.