Rogue Wave Redemption

by Cherrilynn Bisbano

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. Romans 8:28-29 ESV

The rooster interrupted my sleep every three hours. I rolled off the uncomfortable church pew and joined the team for breakfast of granola bars and a bottle of water. The pastor had invited us to El Salvador to show “The Jesus Film,” and offered his church as our resting place.

We gathered our gear for the day and the team headed for El Playa de Cuco beach about five hundred yards away. Its meaning, “crazy beach” — was a good name to express the events of the day. We set up the volleyball net, and played with the kids who lived on the beach.

Small huts made of straw and wood transformed the beach into a makeshift village. Mothers nursed their babies and cooked meals on campfires outside while the men sat on logs and chatted.

Volleyball was fun, but I escaped to write in my journal.

Lord, Thank you for a log for our stuff or it would have been taken out to sea by the waves if we left it on the ground! We have not taken showers since yesterday morning. No Power! No Water! We must smell ripe! We are almost playing v-ball in the houses on the beach (water was coming close to us and the homes). I love you Father. Gracias.”

I put my journal away and went to the large log where our backpacks rested. The one I just thanked God for. I heard screaming…

1 pm (journal entry): WIPED OUT by a big wave! Gloria a Dios (Glory to God), no one was hurt but me. 3 kids went under the hut. All of us went flying. I tried to grab the bag and had a hold of it but the wave took the big log right with it. I was behind the log and it knocked me over. My legs are all cut up and bruised! Babies were everywhere. All are fine though. The locals helped us gather our things. A man named Pablo let us use his table and wash off in his water. (He had the only fresh water well within miles of the beach) Pablo gave me some blue ointment for the cuts on my legs.

We thanked Pablo and gave him The Gospel of John. We left the beach to gather our thoughts, have a soda, and clean our gear. We praised God for keeping us safe as we remembered the verse.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah  43:2 ESV

The next morning I wrote. Visited Pablo. He loved the peanut butter (peanut butter is a delicacy there). But, he really loved the book at read into the morning.

The next day we said our goodbyes, traveled to Honduras, and boarded a plane home to Rhode Island. Later, the Pastor of the church told us Pablo is now a child of God and leads others to Jesus. God used a rouge wave to save a soul.

My dear friend, I know life is difficult. Will you praise Him with me for taking the difficult and mundane to accomplish His purposes?

This article has been brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Cherrilynn Bisbano is an award-winning writer in both fiction and non-fiction. She is a coach, ghostwriter, editor, and speaker. She is honored to be a member of AWSA.

Shine Don't Whine

You can find her published in several online magazines and blogs along with books.  Her latest book, Shine Don’t Whine, released in October 2020. Cherrilynn proudly served in the Navy and Air National Guard. She lives with her son, Michael, Jr., and husband of 22 years. Cherrilynn loves Christ, Chocolate, coffee, and Cats. You will often find her on the beach sea glass hunting.

Join the conversation: Have you seen God take a “rogue wave” in your life and use it for good?

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God and Our Dreaded Painful Moments

by Janet Perez Eckles

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2 NIV

Hubby and I, along with our dear friends, headed to North Carolina for a fun visit. As we crossed from one state to another, the driver took instructions from the rest who did the navigating.

“Uh, oh…I see the red line, that means traffic coming up,” my friend said. “Let’s take a different route.”

For the next few minutes alternate routes were discussed, considered, and explored to avoid “the red area,” because after all, that meant traffic. And we were having none of that. But before we knew it, we reached the dreaded “red zone.” And to our relief, the slowdown was slight, so very slight. All that fretting for nothing.

That’s what we humans do all the time, don’t we? We dread the red zone of adversity, the time when we might not be able to handle life. We cringe at the thought of reaching a place where we might be stuck in helplessness or in illness or in financial trouble. So, worried about that day, we work hard to avoid that at all costs.

But all the while, God is preparing the way for us to face those painful moments. He does this through His almighty, supernatural power; He’s already present at those upcoming “red zones” of life.

Reassurance comes in two different ways:

He established a prerequisite for us to be safe and completely protected: “’Because he loves me,’ says the LORD, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation’” (Psalm 91:14-16 NIV).

Since He knows the danger, keeping us safe is His promise: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).

How lovely life becomes when we truly believe in these promises. As we ride on the highway of life, we know God is ahead of us, making the way, waving the green flag, and making sure that with His help, we will navigate through all the red-zones of life.

Father, guide me away from fear of the pain that tomorrow might bring. Guard me from the worry about what might happen. I invite you to be the driver of the vehicle of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

janet perez eckles

About the author: Janet Perez Eckles is an author and international  speaker. Through her physical blindness, she teaches  thousands to walk by faith, conquer fear, and  and relish in the richness of God’s promises.

Janet’s book,  Hola, Happiness: Finding Joy by Dancing to the Melody of God’s Word is a brief Bible study to nudge you to the next level of triumph and joy. It is packed with deep reflections and answers from God’s Word. No matter what you face–disappointment, fear, heartache, shame, insecurity, sorrow–you will say “Hola” to happiness, peace, and the joy for which God created you.

Join the conversation: What adversity are you dreading these days?

Last Minute Miracles

by Christina Rose

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NLT)

It took years of falling flat on my face by doing things my way that made me realize that God’s ways are far better, yet they often require patience. The waiting time purposely stretches our faith to build our confidence in Him.  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”  (Hebrews 11:1 ESV).

When God called me to leave my home in California a few years ago and move to Florida to care for an elderly aunt, it required huge faith. I assumed this obedience would lead to a great reward, yet instead, it led to more testing. I was frustrated and felt like the puppy who performed the trick and never got the treat. I couldn’t understand what God was up to.

One day I was racing through Costco, checking things off my list. I was grumpy that everyone seemed to be dawdling and in my way, like they had nothing better to do than wander around the aisles looking at stuff.  I breezed past a man and his young son whom I overheard say, “Wow Dad, that lady’s in a big hurry.”

The dad responded, “Yep, she must be from California.”  

I went for a walk on the beach and tried to relax. I was finally beginning to see what the treat was. My high-pressure, 13-hour workdays in California had been ripped out of my hands, and now God was trying to show me a better way, if I would just let him. I then realized how blessed I was to be strolling along the crystal white sand and turquoise waters of Siesta Key Beach.

As I learned to let go and trust God’s daily plan for me, I began to see how many blessings He planned for me along the way. I also began to see that if things didn’t happen when I wanted, it usually meant that something better was on the horizon. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 ESV).

I am now in Denver, continuing to grow in faith along with the rest of the world, as we face the global pandemic and political unrest. bible stories of last-minute miracles can give us hope as we wait for God’s plan to unfold. Last minute miracles are miracles that happen when faith is almost or completely lost. They happen in the nick of time, beyond expectations or feasibility. They show us that God has a perfect plan and is never limited by time and space.

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they became trapped between the sea and the pursuing army. At the last minute, God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to cross and once they were safely on the other side, he closed the sea over the Egyptian army thus destroying them.

When Jesus arrived at the home of Jairus, his young daughter had already died, yet Jesus told the little girl to wake up to show the glory of God. She was fully restored back to life to the amazement of everyone around them.

When Jesus was called to heal Lazarus, who was gravely ill, he purposely waited for days to arrive. “But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4 ESV).When Jesus arrived at the tomb, Lazarus had been dead for four days, yet he raised Lazarus from the dead. He walked out of the tomb, fully restored to life, and all the people were amazed at the glory of God.

There is no substitute for the peace that comes from knowing that God has it all figured out and all we need to do is trust Him. While we may not understand the testing and it may seem long and severe, these times can be merely a setup for God to perform last-minute miracles that will amaze and bless us all.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression,   you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.  Isaiah 43:2 NLT

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who need hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: Has God ever done a last minute miracle for you?

God’s Eraser

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

I get a thrill just walking past the windows of Pottery Barn. The wood finishes, the colorful dishes, the silk flowers—they call to me. On one of my expeditions into the store, I found a white eraser about the size of my palm, and a word was printed on it—DELETE. I bought the eraser and set it on my desk. Even though I hardly use it, it reminds me that God can erase the pain of hurtful actions. Some are recent, some may have stained our hearts for years.

Each child’s heart is like a journal. The adults, teachers, and peers in a child’s life write on it. Kind words, playful words, or hurtful ones. Their actions jot down notes about the child’s worth and identity. Which of these messages was written on your heart as you were growing up?

  • You’re valuable or you won’t amount to anything.
  • You’re needed or I don’t want you around.
  • You can do great things with God’s help or you’re a failure before you start.

If we have negative words and actions written on the journals of our hearts, we may think that there’s no reversing it. No eraser can eliminate the stain. But God can.

When life has written worthless, forgotten, or shameful on our hearts, God replaces it with loved and cherished. When we allow Him to write words of truth on our souls and we accept that truth for ourselves, He calls us free.

Free. Four little letters that hold a world of hope and restoration. Free from muck, pain, and regret. Free from the tyranny of people’s opinions and society’s demands. In Christ, we are free to be loved and to love, to make a difference, and to show someone else they are valuable, too.

This is what God writes on our hearts:

“You are Mine” (Isaiah 43:2 NKJV).

“I have redeemed you” (Isaiah 44:22 NJKV).

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you” (John 15:9 NKJV).

“In Me you may have peace” (John 16:33 NKJV).

God lessens the pain of hurtful memories by building new memories with us—time spent studying His Word and praying, time spent with loved ones, helping others who are in need, and so on. God’s pen holds ink that can never be erased, not by time or people or trials. His promises are certain, and He keeps each one.

You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.   Isaiah 62:2b NIV

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God’s Eraser, Finding Help in a World of Hurt – @KatyKauffman28 on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

headshot_katykauffmanAbout the author: Katy Kauffman is a Bible study author and teacher, an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies. Her writing tends to focus on winning life’s spiritual battles, and she loves connecting with writers and creating compilations such as Breaking the Chains: Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Bondage, a 2018 Selah Awards finalist, and Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, a 2019 Selah finalist. Katy makes her home in a cozy suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.

Her latest book, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character explores the questions: How does God make our character more like Christ’s? What is His part, and what is ours? This Bible study compilation is a construction guide to building godly character and overcoming the hidden problems that sabotage us. It explores how God works in our lives and gives us wisdom to handle real-life issues.  

Join the conversation: What Scripture verse do you want written on your soul? What words bring you hope and peace? Please share!

A Clear Measure of Trust

by Jennifer Slattery @JenSlattery

My trust is most revealed in how readily I respond to God’s guidance. I’m quick to talk about His power, love, and sovereignty. But too often, my daily actions demonstrate my heart hasn’t truly owned those biblical truths. When I hesitate to respond to God’s prompting or flat-out disobey, I reveal a deep layer of doubt, one that, if not swiftly squashed, will ultimately prove crippling.

One that will, ultimately, rob me of the joy-and-peace-filled life God longs to give me.

Had I been with the Israelites the day God told Joshua, their commander, to lead them across the Jordan River and into the lush and plentiful land He’d long promised them, I worry I may have politely declined. My thoughts would’ve been consumed by the rushing waters before me, my inability to swim across, and the threat of death both posed. This wasn’t how the Israelites responded.

I believe the why rests in their backstory—in the consequences they’d experienced due to disobedience. Decades prior, God had miraculously liberated their parents from slavery, led them across the Red Sea on dry ground, and commanded them to take possession of Canaan’s rich pastureland. But the people had refused, out of fear. Because of this, they were forced to wander through the desert for forty years. With each step, they were confronted afresh with their foolishness and reminded of God’s faithfulness. As He provided for them day by day, bringing water from rocks and honey-like wafers from heaven, they learned to trust in and depend on God.

And the Israelite’s children, now adults, had witnessed it all. They’d seen the suffering that came from rebellion and the blessings that came from obedience. Therefore, when faced with their own seemingly impassable body of water, they chose the latter.

In other words, they focused on their Savior, not the challenge before them.

This enabled them to move forward—to take hold of the blessing He’d prepared for them.

Scripture tells us, once Israel’s priests took that first literal step of faith, the waters miraculously stopped. As I read this account, recorded in Joshua 3, I was struck by the order of events. Joshua 3:15-16 says, “Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away …” (NIV).

The priests stepped into the raging waters first, and they didn’t just dip their toe in. According to verse eight, they stood in the river. This demonstrated total commitment to obedience and faith in God.

The result? God came through, as He always does.

We’ll regret countless choices made over the course of our life, but I guarantee responding to God in faith won’t be one of them.

Is God asking you to take a step of faith? What challenges do you need to surrender to Him? How might focusing on Jesus rather than your problems or obstacles ahead bolster your faith?

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.    Isaiah 43:2 NASB

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A Clear Measure of Trust – thoughts on following God from @JenSlattery on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Jennifer SlatteryAbout the author: Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is the author of eight contemporary novels, and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, releasing in the spring/summer of 2019. When not writing, Dancing in the Rain by [Rife, Eileen, Slattery, Jennifer]reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.

Join the conversation: Share your thoughts, examples, and stories with us in the comments below.

Left Hanging—Learning to Wait in Faith

by Kathy Howard @KathyHHoward

The day was clear and crisp, just perfect for spring skiing. When we arrived at the slope, we purchased our lift tickets, quickly donned our skis, and got in line for the lift. So excited to have a full day of skiing ahead of us.

Four of our group sat together on the quad chair – me, Wayne, our oldest daughter, Kelley, and our friend Connie. About a quarter of the way up the hill the chair lift came to an abrupt halt. That happens fairly often – usually to wait for someone who has fallen getting on or off – so we weren’t concerned. But then minutes ticked by and we remained stopped.

For the next two hours we alternated between long stretches of stillness and brief forward movement. The first time the chair began to move we cheered, but after just a few feet we stopped again. After that, each time we moved we held our collective breaths. But alas, we only moved a short distance.

It was a warm day for April in the Canadian Rockies, but when you’re hanging off the ground in the wind with the weight of your skis and boots pulling on your dangling legs, a chill can set in quickly. The four of us huddled close for warmth and told stories to pass the time.

After about two hours I started eyeing the ground. If I dropped my skis would it be close enough to jump? Then I checked to see how far it was to the closest support tower. Is it possible to shimmy across the cable?

 But just before I made rash decision to act dangerously, someone shouted at us over a bullhorn. “We’ve been working to get the motor going, but it won’t stay running. We’ll try one more time. If that doesn’t work we will get you down another way.”

Another way? Seriously?! What does that mean? Fork lift? Helicopter? Giant eagle?

 Just as I was taking another look at the ground, we started moving. All four of us were praying. Fifty feet to the end. Forty. Thirty. Twenty. Ten. Now, stand up and put your skis on the ground!

After more than two hours, no feeling remained in our legs but we managed to get out of the chair and move away from the lift.  The resort paid for our lunch and refunded our lift passes. After eating and warming up in the lodge, we spent the afternoon skiing for free.

For the majority of those two hours we felt like the ski resort had simply left us hanging. We didn’t see any activity on our behalf. We saw very little forward progress. But as we learned later, an entire team of mechanics was working frantically to get us down to safety.

Sometimes life feels like that. Sometimes we may feel like God has “left us hanging.” Sometimes we might think He’s not doing anything while we struggle. But Scripture teaches us the truth:

  • God is always working (John 5:17).
  • God cares about every aspect of our lives (Matthew 6:25-34).
  • God is all-powerful and always in control (Jeremiah 32:17).
  • God is with us in our trials (Isaiah 43:2).
  • God is good, loving, and faithful (Psalm 145:17).

When you doubt God is working, when you wonder if He cares about you and your situation, remind yourself of the truth. Even if you can’t see it, He is working. Even if you don’t feel it, He loves you.

Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31 NASB

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Left Hanging—Learning to Wait in #Faith – @KathyHHoward on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Kathy HowardAbout the author: This post is adapted from Kathy Howard’s Bible study. Lavish Grace: Poured Out, Poured Through, and Overflowing. Lavish Grace is a 9-week journey with the apostle Paul that helps readers discover God’s abundant grace for their daily lives and relationships. You can find out more about Kathy, her speaking and writing, and find free resources at www.KathyHoward.org.

Join the conversation: Has there ever been a time you felt like God “left you hanging?” In retrospect, how was He working?

Crossing the Jordan

by Tammy Kennington

“And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.” Joshua 3:17 NASB

It was a glorious day, one that Israel had long awaited. God was bringing them into the Promised Land, the land of milk and honey. Their entrance was a memorable one, as the waters flowing from upstream began to pile up into a heap, miraculously allowing them to walk in on dry ground. It was a dramatic sign of God’s approval and support, a visual picture of what He had already promised for His nation: “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you.” (Joshua 1:3 NASB)

He calls each of us to follow Him into His Promised Land as well. But sometimes there is no “dry land” to be found. Sometimes God doesn’t meet our expectations. What happens when we’ve slipped a toe into the edge of the Jordan and suddenly we’re neck-deep in the river; disillusioned and doubting the call of the One who promised us beauty…bounty…blessing on the other side? What happens when our hopes or dreams are dashed against the rocks–shattered and floating further from our reach?

Do we blame Him for letting us down? For leaving us. For our struggle against the rushing water as we’re dragged somewhere unknown and unanticipated?

Instead of trusting that our Rescuer has already journeyed into the depths for us, we are tempted to give in to the pull of the current. Drifting. Doubting. Denouncing Him in our inability to see clearly from this side of the river to the other.

At times, I’ve been overwhelmed by the dark waves. Smashed against the river bottom. Sputtering for air. Shouting my doubts into the mist. Because suffering? It hurts. And sometimes I’ve felt like I’m drowning even in my living.

Some of you are crossing your personal Jordan right now. Cancer. Anxiety. Mental illness. Divorce. Death. Pain so big it’d be easy to lose sight of the largeness and power of God. My heart aches for that journey you’re taking right now–the one causing fear unequaled. Feelings of aloneness. Deep soul-sorrow.

Can I remind you? He is El Roi–the God who sees. He is Yishmael–the God who hears. He is Adonai–the sovereign Lord, who loves you perfectly. And He is the God who walks on the water–right next to you…reaching out for your hand…and reassuring, “It’s me, don’t be afraid.”

If we can trust Jesus with eternity, let’s trust Him with our today–even as we totter toward His beckoning hand over the next wave.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.” Isaiah 43:2 NASB

Tammy Kennington About the author: Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, and child abuse awareness advocate. Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy hopes to lead women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them.

The author of five children’s nonfiction books, Tammy’s work has also been featured by Thriving Family, The Upper Room, Light from the Word, and others. You can meet regularly with Tammy at Mercy Multiplied.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Tammy’s children’s book for 8 to 11 year olds, Penguins,  (Exploring our Oceans: 21st Century Skills Library), please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: Have you been overwhelmed by the waves in life?