Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring.
Sometimes when we hear the sound of an approaching storm we begin to prepare ourselves for the downpour. Depending on how severe a storm may be we might seek shelter and cover the windows for safety. If we are caught outside we run for the nearest dry place and wait until the storm passes through. Yes some storms are destructive and can do some very bad damage while others just pass by with a little sprinkle of rain. We can clearly compare these real rain storms with ourselves.
There are storms which come in our lives that are tougher to handle than others and it takes all kinds of gear to protect ourselves from the pain they bring. We hide ourselves from the storm not wanting to get wet or struck by lightening. We have learned from past experiences that the storms just take a toll on us and we have no desire to face another one. As I faced one ordeal after another in my previous marriage I was so tired of the storms raging I wanted to pack it all up and move to a state or country far, far away yet I knew the storms were building my faith, even if I could not see it.
Every time I endured a storm no matter its’ size, I grew more and more dependent on God to help me through it. When the storms first began, I was not following after God and it all seemed hopeless, however, once I let God back into my life the storms got a little easier because I gained wisdom for the situations. Just like if you moved to a state that was prone to hurricanes, after the first time of being in one you would know better how to brace yourself for the next one. Same thing with God, He teaches you how to endure the storms while He makes a way for you to be healed.
I look back now on all of the storms in my life and I can see them for what they actually were, character building, healing rains. Every storm has something to glean from it. Every storm brought me closer and closer to who I am in Christ today and I am ever so thankful for the rain. The rain provided drops of healing for my broken heart. It was the rain that held me together. Now I see the storm and my feet want to dance in the rain instead of hide from it.
[ Listening and Doing ] Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
Can we all agree that life is not all about smooth sailing? There are storms which arise and sometimes we lose our direction. We lose sight of where we were going and get lost in the destruction of the storm. We feel like the purpose of our voyage has changed a bit and we are unclear of how to get back on track or change directions. I have been feeling lately like things are just being tossed about in my life. I am happy and secure in my life at the moment yet there is this constant storm off in the distance. I feel at times that in any given moment of time my boat might just tip over and I will be left on my own to swim.
Now, I, not being a swimmer am fearful of this word “swim”. This thought process puts me in a place of unease at times. Where am I at this point if I know God is in control? How is there any shred of doubt within me? I really don’t have an answer at this point. God has moved so swiftly lately in my life it is almost like when the disciples were in the midst of their storm at sea and God just calmed everything down and they were at their destination in the blink of an eye.
I look back past the last huge storm in my life and I wonder how I ever survived. Now I am on dry land and safe, yet there are aspects to my life that just don’t make any sense. I know who I am in Christ and I cling tight to that mentality. I push away the lies of the enemy but how do I deal with the losses which came from leaving the storm behind? Was what was lost for a reason? Were the people that once were good friends just for a season? All of this brings me to one major question: Who am I to question what God is doing right now?”
So here I am, swimming in uncharted waters. I am leaving my boat right now and diving into the waters that I know are safe because He has me right were I need to be. No matter what others around me are thinking, I am secure in my relationship with God and nothing is going to shake that foundation. God loves each of us individually and He knows our every struggle. He will give us daily the strength we need to refocus and push forward. Within all of this, we still have to follow after Jesus and adhere to the principles He has set forth in the Bible…sometimes that is really hard to do.
It feels good to know God is in control even when my flesh is concerned with so many different struggles. I don’t want to go through the changes sometimes that it takes to make me into the woman of God He has destined for me, yet I know I need to lose the ugly before the beauty of God can break through.
When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.
As snow storm after snow storm hits Michigan this winter, I am paused for a moment to reflect on personal storms in my life. Sometimes they are predictable and we know in advance what to expect while other times the storms just invade without notice of their arrival until we are sucked in and tossed about. So many times I do not even realize there is a storm until I am drenched is some ugly situation that has gotten out of my control, well that’s the way it used to be before I decided to let God direct my path.
I could get myself in so much trouble before I let God have control of my life that I could make my own head spin. Now that I allow God to protect me from the storms that He can already see, life seems so much more easier to withstand. Why had I not let Him be in control before? Simple, I thought I could handle everything on my own. I wanted to fight my own battles since usually I was the one who had gotten myself into trouble in the first place.
How many times do we fight unnecessary battles How many times do we scream at God because the storm in too big when if we would have let go right at the first sign of any clouds we would not have had to endure so much pain. How do we get to the place where the storms seem to be nothing but a cloud or two passing by in the night? Surrender. Total, complete surrender. Being secure in the knowledge that God follows through on His promises. He wants us to be at peace. He wants us to prosper. Because of the death of His Only Son, we are covered by grace and God can’t even see our sin because of the continual flow of blood.
I think that perhaps I have gotten to this place of peace in my life because I am secure in my God. I trust Him. I follow His lead. I surrender with my eyes focused on Jesus so that I will not be drawn to the storm. I am at rest in my soul. I look to Jesus for provision, acceptance, love and peace. Without Him I would be tossed like a boat in a stormy sea with no direction, wondering why on earth God was even keeping me here..
Are you in a storm right now? Having trouble finding your way? Then look up, give up and let God show you the peace He has for you even in the middle of the storm. Be willing to surrender any issues going on in your life right now. Be confident in His love for you, after all He did give up His Son so that you could have life and life more abundant!
When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.
How many of us our consumed by the storms of our lives? How many live in needless fear of being tossed in the wind or drowned by the rain when a storm comes into their life? What if we knew we were bigger than the storm? Perhaps if our strength is strong enough we will weather the storm and come out unharmed but what if our strength fails us. What if we had enough faith that it didn’t matter if it was storming at all?
I pondered this yesterday as I was taking some pictures after a recent storm. As you can see the one I posted is composed mostly of “popcorn” like clouds and then are these two little black clouds just passing by. What if we thought of the white as faith and the black as life storms. If our faith is big, then the storms appear to be nothing. We tower over them with this confidence some others just cannot see. They stand bewildered as to how we can be calm in the midst of storm, to me it’s all about perspective and where we stand in our faith.
I have been through some pretty rough storms, ones where there was more black than white and as I look back on those moments in my timeline, I can clearly see I was not filled with faith. In fact mostly it was times when I was wondering where God was in my life. It was points in my life when I was not trusting God to take care of my storms. Now I can clearly see how the above picture fits into my life much better. My faith is much larger and I no longer fear the storms when they come.
How I desire for your storms to be small. I pray you can have enough faith to rise above your storms as they arise in your life. I pray your faith is strong enough to weather anything that comes at you and that you will be able to trust God to take care of your storms. I also hope that after going through your storm and seeing how God took care of things for you that your faith will grow so strong that nothing will knock you down.
If right now your storms seem so overwhelming, try to find the white in it and start building your faith so that you will begin to overcome. Press into God and ask Him to show you how He handles the storm. Glean from it what you will need to pass through the next one. I promise you will begin to get stronger and your faith will soon become so great a storm will have no meaning to you. Trust God, follow after love and soon storms may become something you welcome into your life.