Girlfriends in God - May 25, 2007

Share with your friends

May 25, 2007

Pepper Pot Paradox

Marlo Francis

 

I hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions.  We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends.  From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry.  We call them our "Friday Friends."  So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend", Marlo Francis.

 

 

 

Today’s Truth

 

2 Corinthians 4: 7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (NIV)

 

 

Friend to Friend

 

“The Gunship? You’ve got to be kidding me …” These words fell from my trembling lips as Rick called to tell me that he had just received his dream assignment from the Air Force. Ever since he had been commissioned into the military as a pilot, the AC-130 Gunship had been amongst a handful of aircraft he would have given his right arm to fly. Consequently, it was the last assignment I would have wanted. It wasn’t enough that Rick loved to race motorcycles on weekends ~ or that he loved to surf all by himself ~ or that liked to break the sound barrier on a regular basis. No, apparently my Rick needed just a little more excitement in his life … needed something to better scratch his ever-growing itch for action. I, on the other hand, was petrified. To think that my precious husband was going to be flying slow and low over enemy territory while some brainwashed renegade tried to shoot him down with a surface-to-air missile … well, let’s just say that I immediately called Sam’s Club to see if Maalox came in 55-gallon drums.

We packed our belongings in North Carolina and headed for Florida in the early fall of 1995. Upon arriving in the Sunshine State, the sun was actually nowhere to be seen. In fact, it was about 12:30 a.m. when we drove past the flight line of the Air Force base. Minutes later, we arrived at our new home, a condominium on Pensacola Beach. This tourist’s paradise was perfect, and although I was not thrilled about the Gunship, I was thrilled to be planted next to the ocean I loved. I was eager to get settled so we could start enjoying the sand and seashells. In the emptying of the trailer, I discovered that Rick had included three terra-cotta pots of jalapeños he had planted back in North Carolina. We placed the pots on the outside railing and went back to unpacking. In perfect sync with the last cardboard box being collapsed and stacked for disposal, the weather report caught our attention. It seemed that a little storm named Opal was on her way to the panhandle with a little bit o’ wind in her sails. I gazed at the television screen half in amazement, half in denial. There was no possible way we could be so unfortunate as to be welcomed to the Sunshine State by a hurricane in the first week. Sure enough, Opal made a beeline for Pensacola Beach, and we officially freaked out. As furiously as we had unpacked just 5 days earlier, we began to repack ~ taping up our collapsed boxes and grumbling over the fact that we had just wasted a ton of time. We went to bed and planned in leaving the island by sunup. At 2:00 a.m., the fire trucks screamed through the streets warning residents to evacuate immediately. Seems Opal decided to pick up her pace and no one was ready for her to make her grand entrance. Before we climbed into our vehicles to leave, we stood inside our garage and prayed ~ asking God’s protection on our things, our new little nest, and on us as we made our escape.

Two weeks later, residents were allowed back onto the island. We drove slowly through the streets, sand piled up 6 feet or more on each side of what little roads remained. Homes were ravaged all around us. Beautiful buildings reduced to nothing more than ragged dollhouses. As we approached our condominium, we noticed that the house directly across from us had been completely cross-sectioned ~ furniture all hanging out ~ along with wires, concrete, and sheet rock. Our hearts raced as we pulled into the drive and our building came into view. When the truck came to a stop, what we saw astounded us. There, standing proudly on the railing of our unscathed condominium, were our three terra-cotta pepper pots ~ completely unmoved and intact. The peppers were all still hanging there, ready to be picked. We were literally, speechless.

Now, did God ignore the needs of all those other homes in order to protect our condominium and our little clay pots … no, I do not believe that was His purpose in this magnificent display of provision. What I believe God was doing, was planting a very specific image in my heart; knowing that during our time in Florida, Rick would be killed in an airplane crash. God knew that I was getting ready to live out my worst nightmare, and He wanted me to remember the image of how He held those pots firm during the violent storm. I will never forget the image of those rooted, undisturbed peppers in the midst of such devastation … and I will forever be in awe of The Hand that held them there. As you face the storms of life, remember my pepper pots ~ and do not forget that you are much more valuable and precious to your Creator. He will hold you ~ just believe.

 

 

Let’s Pray

 

Dear Heavenly Father:

We know that in this life, we will have trouble. Your Holy Word tells us that before we even begin the race. It’s easy, though, to fool ourselves into thinking that it will never happen to us … that the wounds of life will happen to someone else. Then when the world comes crashing down around us in one form or another, we feel that You grow silent … we feel that You have abandoned us because our pain seemingly drowns out Your presence. In those times of mortal weakness, please remind us that You are sovereign in all things … and that You never turn Your head when we cry out. Your eye is on the sparrow … and the pepper pots … and we can know that You are holding us safe in Your loving arms ~ and it is there You will cradle us safely until the storm is past. Thank You for Your magnificent love and the restoration that can come when we keep our hearts soft before You. Give us strength to hold on to the One who will never let us go.

In Jesus’ precious name we pray,

Amen

 

 

Now it’s Your Turn

 

  • In what areas of your life do you struggle with fear and worry? Take a few minutes to reflect on the situations in life that have you feeling helpless and heavy-hearted. Ask God to open your eyes to the truths of His provision and protection.

 

  • Often times, we beat ourselves up for feeling afraid. Satan would love to get you bound up in guilt and block you from finding freedom. Remember that it is never wrong to feel afraid. Fear is an emotion God gave us, and it comes naturally and for a reason. However, the key to overcoming is letting our fear bring us back to our faith. When the storms of life threaten to blow us into bits ~ the correct response is running back to the Lord for protection and provision. Fear only destroys when instead of running to God … we let Satan entice us into running away. Don’t let that happen to you.

 

  • Always remember the pepper pots and know that you are much more precious to your Heavenly Father than any man-made thing will ever be. Trust Him when the wind and the waves roar … for He is a sure anchor that will hold.

 

 

More from the girls

When the storms of life hit, we are sometimes blown off course and are in danger of drowning. Stop! Rest in Him! And swim toward the Light!

 

 

For more on this topic, see Mary’s CD “Strength for the Storm” and Sharon’s book, Your Scars Are Beautiful 

 

Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area.

 
Share with your friends

PREVIOUS DEVOTIONALS

More Devotionals
Loading
Working...