Last night, as I drove home in the midst of the 3rd winter storm in the past two-weeks. I found myself complaining out loud in my car. I was giving Mother Nature a tongue lashing. I am sick of the storms and I am already tired of this winter. As I drove my car through the drifts of snow, I realized that all my complaining and tongue lashings were not going to help. I was complaining to God about something He already planned to happen. I believe that God allows storms in our life to teach us. Storms are an intended part of our lives.
One author said, “we are all either just leaving a storm or about to enter one.”
So why are we so surprised by their presence in our life? No matter how much we prepare for them they always seem to be unexpected, unpredictable, unwanted, and they always produce fear. The only answer I can think of that addresses the question of why we are so surprised by them is because the storms in our life remind us that we are not truly in control of our lives and that scares all of us!
I am reminded of a story found in the book of Mark, chapter 4. It is the story of a storm in the lives of the disciples. A storm that was planned by God to teach them, help them and illuminate them. It’s a fascinating story and there is so much in the story that captivates me. As I read narratives like this I imagine I’m in the boat with them, wet, afraid, struggling, and then I look to Jesus and He’s asleep! How could He be asleep? Doesn’t He realize what trouble we are in? Doesn’t He care?
We all feel this at times in the midst of the storm. When storms come in our lives, just as Job asked in the midst of his storm, we all ask, “God, don’t you care?” What they missed (and honestly we miss it too) is that God was in the boat with them! If they go down so does he! Doesn’t it strike you as strange that Jesus was asleep? Don’t you wonder at times in your own life, “is God asleep, has He forgotten about me, doesn’t He care?” You may have actually said it out loud,
“God, WAKE UP! I’m in trouble.”
But what we and the disciples miss is that God is with us. Do you realize how big those words are? God is with us. It means He’s in the boat too! It means He’s invested in you, in your life, in your storm. It means “He’s got this!” It means, if you are in the storm and He’s with you, it’s part of His plan.
Ok, so I ask as I write that, how can a storm be part of His plan? Because in the storm our senses become alive, sharp, focused and we can see more clearly than we ever do in normal days. In this storm the disciples feared the storm, but in just moments their fears were redirected to Jesus.
Storms bring clarity. They focus our passions, our desires, our lives on what’s most important. In a recent storm in our area the news crew interviewed a woman who had lost everything in a fire in her home. As she stood in front of her devastated home, nothing left of all she had, she said, “we are so blessed, no one was hurt.” And suddenly clarity comes to her life. The stuff can be replaced and in that moment, in the midst of losing everything, we discover that we have actually lost nothing at all!
As you face your next storm realize two things, 1. God is with you. This didn’t happen without His presence or permission, and 2. He has a plan and purpose in the storm for your life.
In the midst of your next storm will you discover it?
Will you see that all of life is about knowing Him and trusting Him?
Will you discover that He has never left you, He’s with you….even in the midst of your storm.