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From the desk of Lauren Palmer

During times like these, times where we are coming through a pandemic, or the disunity between the races is being confronted, or summer plans have been cancelled, or whatever disharmony you are experiencing, I think it is very important to complete a faith-check.

A few weeks ago, my family and I headed to South Padre Island where my parents have a condo. My sister who lives in Oregon, and my brother who lives in Austin, were able to join me and our parents, something that doesn’t happen very often. My whole family would be together!  I was looking forward to fishing with my boys in the bay, and eating seafood, and riding on my father’s boat. I couldn’t wait to walk on the beach and hear waves and visit with my siblings, just three of us.

The week before we left, I began checking the weather, and my heart sank as I saw that massive thunder storms were expected all 8 days that we would be on the island. Now, I know in the grand scheme of the world, a little rain is probably the least of our problems, but I’ll admit I was so disappointed and honestly felt “let down” by God. I kept praying, “God, you know how important this trip is to us. Why would you bring rain during that time? Why couldn’t you bless us with beautiful weather?” I obsessed over the weather app and checked it multiple times a day for any change in our favor. I would pray and check the app. Pray and check. Pray and check. There was no change. Should we cancel? Should we go somewhere else? Should we postpone a few days? As disappointment grew to anger, I felt God nudge inside of me and say, “Why are you putting your faith in an app?” I’m serious, that is EXACTLY what God said to me. I only had to think about it for a few minutes before I realized He was absolutely correct. I checked myself and had to re-discern what faith looks like.

Because God is bigger and more powerful than an app. While modern conveniences provide us methods to gain information, we still need to put our faith in God to provide truth and wisdom. We can’t pray for change, and then stare at XYZ app or channel to prove whether or not the prayer has been answered. Sometimes we need pray and wait and listen, and allow God to strengthen us during the waiting process. I began praying for good weather and didn’t check the app again. I asked the Holy Spirit to change my heart and strengthen my faith to know that God heard my prayers and would act according to His perfect will. I believe with every fiber of my being that God knows what is best for us, and I clung to this truth during the waiting period. God sustained me during those moments of waiting. Then He strengthened my faith. God changed my perspective to one more connected with Him, not an app.

Our weather in South Padre was gorgeous. I would stand on the balcony of my parents condo and stare at a colorful, clear sunset while the weather app would state it was currently raining. It was crazy! Our God is mightier than an app. Our God is what is true. Let’s be careful where we put our faith right now and look to Him, the all-knowing Creator of the universe, for answers and to strengthen our faith. Let’s not be reactive to this “group think” mentality that social media apps often promote where we share something just because someone else did, therefore putting our faith in the information on a social media post without taking the time to truly understand it. Instead, let’s look to God for wisdom and discernment and truth. Let’s turn to our faith and ask God for guidance on how to react and what steps to take next. And then LISTEN to Him and for Him. Take time to be quiet and LISTEN. God speaks to His children. He provides guidance and wisdom every single day. Stay connected and LISTEN.

I took the picture below one evening in South Padre and posted on my Instagram where a reader commented that it looked like God was saying “peace.” It does doesn’t it?! The app said it was raining. But God said Peace to You.

We don’t expect the weather app to be so incredibly mistaken, but it was. God is never mistaken. Never. Let’s put our faith back in Him and pray for strength like none other.

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will rise up on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

To learn more about Lauren and The Art of Living Beautifully, please visit our ‘about’ page.

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