Sunday, 09 May 2021

M Michele's Musings

The Anchor Holds ~ and the Shed Still Stands

Twenty-five or so years ago, my sister and I built a 16x8 foot shed. I purchased a shed kit from a company who supplied instructions and brackets. The studs were provided by my dear sweet grandfather who had torn down a house not long before. Grandpa drove down to Louisiana from Quanah, Texas for the express purpose of bringing me a slew of 2x4’s he had reclaimed from his project.  My sister and I were going to attempt to build the shed by ourselves and we undertook the project with vim and vigor.  We were both much younger back then; I don’t know that we could do it today.  We were not builders by far and the shed, though sturdy, was not exactly square, nevertheless the shed did the job she was designed to do.             

A lot of years have passed and that little shed has been through at least seven hurricanes;  Lili in 2002, Rita in 2005, Ike and Gustave in 2008, Harvey in 2017, Laura and Delta in 2020.  She suffered flooding of different degrees with Lili, Ike, Gustave and Harvey but with Rita, Laura and Delta she suffered the worst damage.  Rita, with 100 mile an hour winds, made a few holes in the roof from fallen trees along with flooding of 3-4 feet.  We re-roofed and put a sub-floor in as she was sinking.  Rita really made the shed even more crooked but she was still a good little shed, holding mowers, ladders, garden implements, other yard necessities and chicken feed.  Fifteen years later came Laura and then Delta in a little more than a month later.  Laura was far worse than Rita with sustained winds of 150 miles per an hour.  Laura ripped almost every sheet of roofing from the shed and left gaping holes; then Delta widened the holes left by Laura.  For both storms water flooded our property and yet again flood water crept insidiously across the shed’s wooden floor.  Still, the shed stands, a little crooked and a bit worse for wear, but she stands.                 

All over our area I witnessed sheds no longer standing or half standing, blown apart; contents strewn everywhere.  The number of sheds destroyed or damaged includes those of my daughter, sister and multiple neighbors, friends and co-workers.  As I drive to and from work in Lake Charles and in outlying areas, I see even more sheds completely obliterated, half standing or lying flat with their contents blown away or ruined.  Yet, this 25+ year old shed built by my sister and I, amateur builders at best, is still standing after hours and hours of unprecedented winds and hammering rain.  We will be able to fix the roof and she will be a good little shed for many more years.              

It is amazing and almost inconceivable to me that this shed is still standing.  It is nothing short of a miracle from God and for that I am thankful.  God, who unlike my sister and I, is a perfect builder; He built man perfectly when he created Adam and Eve.  But with the fall of mankind we were no longer so perfect somewhat like our imperfect shed. Despite our fallen nature when God made man, He had a plan for every single person. Though imperfect because of the fall, we still were born with a purpose to fulfil.  God made us in His image and we all have our own set of talents, gifts and abilities.  Those talents, gifts and abilities were given to each one so that we could fulfil our calling in God’s kingdom.  “For You formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  Psalms 139: 13-14a     “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10

God’s perfect creation was fallen because of sin.  Even so, God had a miracle in the works from the very beginning of time, even before Adam and Eve sinned in the garden.  Yes, God had a Redeemer that would save mankind, His perfect son, Jesus Christ.  “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28  “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:23-26   Sin and storms come to wreak havoc in our lives but there is a Savior.  Jesus is the anchor of our souls, He is the anchor that holds through any storm.  He heals, ministers, forgives, rebuilds, brings hope and saves us even in the midst of our most destitute situations.  Just as we fixed our shed after Rita, Jesus comes to fix our lives after the trials, troubles, misfortune and storms we have gone through.  Because He loves us, we have but to cry out to God and He hears.  “I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4  “This poor man called out, and the LORD heard him; He saved him from all his troubles.” Psalm 34:6  “He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.” Psalm 145:19  “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.”  Psalm 34:17

With the fall of mankind came the fall of creation.  With the fall of creation came inclement weather and storms of every imaginable sort.  It is inevitable that we will all go through storms in life whether from nature or other circumstances that arise on life’s journey.  God admonishes us, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations (trials, afflictions, troubles, storms)” James 1:2   With the promise that our anchor holds, no matter what circumstances confront us, we, as Christians, should handle the storms of life with faith, peace and assurance that God is in control.  Even so, storms sometimes shake us to our very core despite our knowledge of God’s love and care.  Like the little shed, we find ourselves feeling uncovered with gaping holes in our defenses, feeling as if we are drowning and sinking in despair.  Even so, God has a plan to use our storms for growth, strengthening and His glory in our lives.  We must learn to trust Him even when we don’t understand. “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:3-4   “So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7 


Just as the little shed still stands, we too, will stand through the storms of life with God’s help.  He stands with us and for us.  We are His most special creation.  His love knows no bounds.  He has given us everything we will ever need in Jesus.  He will work in our lives so that we can fulfil the purposes He has for our lives. And, no matter what shape or form the storms come in to our lives as, we have His promises to hide in our hearts and keep us steady even when our world is being rocked.  Yes, we can be assured that our anchor holds us secure in the midst of the storm and that, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28  “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Love in Christ, Michele

Columnist: Michele Abshire

 

Michele Abshire is a housewife, mother, grandmother, and full time legal assistant. She has been published in Lake Charles, Louisiana publications, Christian Star Newspaper and Gumbeaux Magazine.  

Michele began writing notes of encouragement to people God put on her heart which led her in the direction of writing short encouraging stories, letters, essays and analogies.  This quickly became a ministry for her.  

Michele's vision is to reach people with encouraging messages that will lift their heart and bring joy for sorrow and hope for discouragement. Michele enjoys your feedback so leave a comment in the form at the bottom of the page or email her at  micheles.musings@gmail.com

 

 

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