Encouragement for 2019
What’s Shaking Your Tree Today?
For the past few days, the nation has endured the coldest winter in more than a decade. Now, I am not one for cold weather and would prefer temps in the mid 70’s early 80’s with 10% or less humidity. Nobody likes it when storms come around because it disrupts our life and plans that we had previously made. I would believe every Christian on planet earth if asked, would prefer to always have times of prosperity, gentle rains, and pleasant temperatures. But storms that bring change also come with benefits. For example, hurricanes, help to rejuvenate the barrier reef, kills off the red tide and bacteria that destroy fish, redistributes rain-fall, and cleans the beaches. The sub-arctic temps kill the emerald ash borer and other plant pathogens. Similarly, when bad things like illness, conflicting ideas, and struggles on our shores come about, at first it looks like the worst possible thing to happen at the worst possible moment. As time passes, though, we find within us new talents and abilities and we go on to accomplish great things despite the storms. When you read the reports about the damage caused by storms, one would believe that storms are God’s form of judgment. When, in reality, they sometimes answer to prayer, healing for the land, and they shake us from complacency. It is also my firm belief, that God uses the issues of our day to test the fabric of our faith and redirect the course of our lives in ways we would never think possible. Trials are a good thing because, when life is good all of the time, people become lackadaisical in their ways sort of like what happened to Solomon in his later days (1 Kings 11). More importantly, if our faith never endured trials, we would be little more than a toy soldier in a pressed uniform with a polished weapon; More importantly, we would become very arrogant in our systems of belief; Consider Paul’s testimony as an example. My encouragement for you today, is that when trials come, struggles pull at the fabric of your life, and you feel at your end, I want you to consider that God gives us good days and bad days (Ecc 7:14); if God is able to guide in good times, he is also able to guide us in bad times; both days benefit our lives. I believe God wants us to embrace our struggles and not run away from them.
In the crazy storms, the shipwrecks, the starless nights and sunless days, we don’t know how God will save us. But we do have his promises. And when we get to the end of our lives, we will be able to say, “I had no idea how he would save me, how I would make it to the end. But never once did he fail to keep his promise.” Chad Ashby
When life shakes our tree, we as humans do not always see your hand upon our lives; this requires faith. When the crew aboard the rowboat were quaking in their shoes over the storm that was upon them, Jesus did not add to the fear rather, he simply said, “Peace be still” and the boat was brought to the shore (Mark 4:39). My prayer for my family and friends today who are knee-deep in storms is that you will speak to their lives, “Peace be still”.
All of my writings can be found at http://www.mikesencouragement.org
 Heba Soffar. Hurricanes & Tropical Storms Advantages & Disadvantages. Earth and Universe (6/18/2018). Accessed https://www.online-sciences.com/earth-and-motion/hurricanes-tropical-storms-advantages-and-disadvantages/
 Suzan Vinskofski. Sub-Zero Weather can Benefit Your Garden & Landscape. Home Organic Gardening. Accessed https://learningandyearning.com/sub-zero-weather-can-benefit-your-garden-and-landscape.