The year was 1918, near the end of World War I, and photographer Eric Enstrom was putting together a portfolio of his work. He wanted to include one that communicated a sense of fullness in a time that felt quite empty to so many people. In his now much-loved photo, a bearded old man sits at a table with his head bowed and his hands clasped in prayer. On the surface before him there is only a book, spectacles, a bowl of gruel, a loaf of bread, and a knife. Nothing more, but also nothing less.
Medical research reveals the damage done to our bodies when we cling to the negative or release bursts of anger. Our blood pressure rises. Our hearts pound. Our spirits sag. Our containers corrode.
By contrast, God’s way of love covers—draws a veil over, conceals, or forgives—all wrongs. That doesn’t mean we overlook errors or enable a wrongdoer. But we don’t nurse the wrong when someone is truly remorseful. And if they never apologize, we still release our feelings to God. We who know the Great Lover are to “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
How often have you experienced what feels like a terrible storm going on inside you, mentally, physically, and spiritually? Whether the storms of life are of our own making or the result of living in a broken world, our Father is greater. When we are being chased by storms, God alone is able to calm them—or to calm the storm within us.
A simple but heartfelt plea, it reminds us to stop complicating every prayer request, because God perfectly hears our righteous cries for help. Despite our own confusion and uncertainty, God hears and accepts the honest pleas of us, His children. He’s ready to hear us, especially when we need Him most.
There’s a natural spring that rises on the east side of the city of Jerusalem. In ancient times it was the city’s only water supply and was located outside the walls. Thus it was the point of Jerusalem’s greatest vulnerability. The exposed spring meant that the city, otherwise impenetrable, could be forced to surrender if an attacker were to divert or dam the spring. God Himself “planned” the city of Jerusalem in such a way that its water supply was unprotected. The spring outside the wall was a constant reminder that the inhabitants of the city must depend solely on Him for their salvation. Can we then regard each limitation as a gift that reveals God as our strength?