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Fall into His Presence

What a perfect setting to pour out in! As I put my thoughts into words, there is currently a severe thunderstorm occurring. Everyone in my house is sleeping, so it’s just this thunderstorm and I. It’s funny, when I was a little girl – okay, who am I kidding, up until very recently and sometimes still – I was extremely afraid of thunderstorms. Yet lately, including tonight, there is something so serene and comforting about thunderstorms for me. It’s as if God is sending me a personal reminder to embrace the storm and find peace in it, because if I find myself in the middle of a storm that means I am no longer in control, He is. Meditate on that for a second. Somebody needed that word! I’ll be honest, I sat down with an outline of what I would be blogging about tonight. If you’ve ever blogged, you understand you often have pre-selected topics that you plan to discuss. I have a whole schedule for the next few months, but for some reason, as I sit down tonight and hear the heavy rains pouring down, I envision a washing away, a cleansing so to speak, and a pruning. The rumbling thunder sounds like a roaring lion. I’m hearing, “Let go. Release your hold. I am in control now.” I don’t know what you are going through or what has been occupying your mind lately, but sis, if your thoughts have been: “I am trying so hard. I am really making a conscious effort to do the right thing. I am seeking God on a new level, with new understanding, and with my whole heart. But suddenly, I’m being confronted with uncomfortable realities I’m not ready to face and with deep-rooted issues I thought I surrendered,” or, “I can’t catch a break these days. It’s one problem after another after another after another. I feel so alone and exhausted. I am not sure how much more I can take. At this point, I don’t even know why I’m here.” If lately your thoughts sound like those above, I invite you to fall into his presence, your Heavenly Father’s presence. Part of what made tonight so sweet before I came inside to write was, I spent some time on my front porch with a fresh cup of black coffee, taking in the fall weather (my all-time favorite season), witnessing nature's warning of the upcoming storm. It was foggy, misty, a little breezy but just enough, and soon there were distant flashes of lightning with no rain to accompany it. This normally happens whenever I take the time to soak in God’s creation and how divine His design is, I sat in awe of His mighty works. I thought to myself, “How do people witness this and not believe there is a God?” It’s the same thought I immediately encounter when I sit front and center on a beach alone and watch the vastness of the ocean, seemingly never-ending where the ocean meets the sky on the horizon and the waves are crashing. God commanded the waters to stop here, and they obeyed. It is no wonder I have found a newfound stillness in the storm. It’s just symbolic of how mighty my God is! No matter how severe the storm, as long as I am in His hands, I am in the best, safest place I can be. There I find comfort. There I find peace. There I find strength. There I find wisdom. There I realize the storm's purpose and where God is trying to take me. Even more astounding, there I recognize the storm is oftentimes a direct answer to my own prayers. Understand what you are asking for in your prayers! Yes, I’m jumping back and forth between a literal storm and a figurative storm, but you get the point. There’s a message in the eye of your storm. Find it! Be still enough to catch it. Heed it and allow it to grow you. That’s where the pruning comes in. I have noticed as I look back on every storm I have encountered in life, before I could move forward, pruning had to take place. What or who is God calling you to cut out of your life right now, in order that he may grow you to the next level? The answers to all of these questions can only be found in His presence. Well, how do I fall into his presence? I’m glad you asked! The book of Psalms tells us that God inhabits the praises of his people. Therefore, if you’re looking for Him to set up shop in your home and make it His dwelling place, praise Him. The book of Psalms is a great place to start, as it is filled with songs and prayers of praise. The same way you wake up everyday and have an appointed time you must arrive to work, an appointed time you must pick up the kids, an appointment to do your nails or hair if that’s your thing, an appointment with your husband or significant other to have dinner, an appointment with your girlfriends for a ladies night, you should make it your business to have an appointed time that is yours and God’s alone. Create an intimate space to enter into His presence by bringing down the glory of God through praise, through prayer, through reading of the Word, through stillness, through obedience. There is no calmness, no comfort, no peace, no love like that which can be found in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Trust me, I’ve been around a bit and I’ve tried quite a few things, and all those things were temporary fixes that left me more broken than before…BUT GOD! He’s the real deal and He patiently awaits you to invite Him into your quiet place, like the perfect gentleman He is. If you are struggling to lift your hands and praise, or to utter a prayer, or to create an atmosphere of worship, I encourage you to begin with the basics. Connect with His creation all around you. Get on a beach and watch the splendor of the King, listen to the sound of rain and thunder and hear His voice in the rumble, go for a walk and stare at the trees towering above you full of life that was spoken into existence by the very voice of God. Think back to a time where you encountered his presence the most in your life and you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that His hand was on you. Naturally, your spirit will begin to awaken. In case you need a starting point, I have included several verses for you to meditate on below: “He comes from the north as golden splendor; with God is awesome majesty.” Job 37:22 NKJV “The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; he uttered His voice, the earth melted.” Psalm 46:6 NKJV “The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed, he has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.” Psalm 93:1 NKJV “Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.” Psalm 96:9 NKJV “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty…” Psalm 104:1 NKJV “Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; they will see the land that is very far off.” Isaiah 33:17 NKJV “But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.” Jeremiah 10:10 NKJV “The mountains quake before Him, the hills melt, and the earth heaves at His presence, yes, the world and all who dwell in it.” Nahum 1:5 NKJV “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…” Ephesians 5:8 NKJV “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…” 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV

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