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September 19, 1998

Don’t Be Swayed by Circumstances

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If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie. Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. ECCLESIASTES 11:3-4
Stuff happens, or so the saying goes. Sometimes the stuff that happens is profound and full of meaning. Other times it’s just another tree falling in another forest. But regardless of its meaning or significance, stuff does happen. The real question is this: What are you going to do about it? This question is easy to answer when the situation is clear and the direction unequivocal. But what about other times—when the sky grows dim and the winds swirl, when the signals are mixed and the outcome is ambiguous?
The wrong time to shore up your foundation is after the storm hits. That’s the time to hunker down, focus in, and wait it out.
There is work to be done while the sun is shining. Are you making preparations? Preparations for what? you ask. For the storm. Calm days provide the best time to dig deeper, to reinforce the walls, and to repair the cracks in the foundation. Are you anchoring your heart in God? Are you fine-tuning your ears to hear Him better? Are you learning—studying—the sound of His voice? There will come a day when the wind will blow so strong that you cannot hear yourself think, let alone discern His voice.
If we do not know our course, our direction, or our instructions, we will be tossed about on the waves like a ship without a rudder. But if we are secure in Him, then we can ride out any storm of circumstance in peace and assurance.

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