No matter what life brings, no matter what storms come our way, we know that God will work all things out for good for those of us who love him and are called according to his good purpose(Rom 8:28)! And we know in the midst of walking out every situation and circumstance, we can have a heart settled with the peace that Jesus provides. He himself said in John 14:27, “I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

The world can give us plenty of opportunities to be troubled and afraid; storms and trials can pop up out of nowhere, bringing clouds and rain into our seemingly blue sky moments. This reminds me of the time I was out on a boat with my father and my grandfather in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Georgia. We had just set out for a little outing; the weather was beautiful. Then suddenly, clouds rolled in, storms broke out, waves tossed, and hail and rain pelted us. My father made me crawl down between the passenger seat and the console in front of it, while he and my grandfather guided us safely back in to shore. I remember the adrenaline rush of the moment; I saw the urgency in my father’s and my grandfather’s eyes to get us to safety. Though I felt tossed around by our situation, I wasn’t shaken internally, because I trusted my dad to bring us through.

Life can be like that can’t it? As we remember 9-11 and the storm of that day that rose up and shattered our sense of safety in the world and took precious lives; as we look back on this past week of fires in our community here in Austin; as we reflect on our current economic times; and even as we look at our own emotional, physical and personal struggles – we see that storms and trials can rise up and attempt to rock our worlds and steal our peace.

Just as I found safety and peace in the wisdom of my father and the shelter he provided, despite the storm we faced, we can find safety in the wisdom and peace our heavenly father provides in the midst of life’s challenges. Victory comes in Jesus; in Him we can rise up and keep going – through the strength, wisdom and peace he provides.

 If you are facing storms today or are dealing emotionally with the storms of the past, I pray God’s comfort, healing, peace and joy abound in your life today and bring restoration to your heart, as well as a new outlook and hope for the future to be brighter.

Copyright © 2011 by Amy O’Donnell. All Rights Reserved


Eyes Wide Open

Several years ago my grandpa took David and I up in his small, single engine airplane. As we soared over the Savannah area and along the coastline of Georgia and South Carolina, he was calling out landmarks and pointing to places of beauty for us to look at and enjoy. David loved every minute of it, my grandpa loved every minute of it; while I seemed to be the only one to notice we were experiencing not just a little turbulence. With each dip and sway of the plane, and each drop in altitude, fear would grip my heart, and I was terrified that we were going to crash. I spent most of the time with my eyes closed, completely missing out on the joy of the moment and of the beauty that surrounded me.

For many of us, if we are not mindful of it, we can go through our days like that – focused on our fears, the turbulence around us, the storms of life; on all the possible what–if scenarios: what if I don’t reach my dreams, what if I get sick, what is I lose my job…. And, when we live like that, we miss out on the joy and peace we have access to at every moment, that give us the ability to enjoy the journey regardless of what life throws our way.  

 God wants us to live with peace and joy. Isaiah 26:3 says, you keep him in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. 

No matter what you are facing … I hope you won’t allow it to keep you from enjoying the blessings God has placed in your life and the beauty he’s surrounded you with. Place your concerns in His capable hands, trust him to work all things out for good,  to protect you along the way and bring you peace. For, we serve a mighty God!

Copyright © 2011 by Amy O’Donnell. All Rights Reserved.