I watched as the clouds collected at the far end of town. They hung menacingly in the sky – collecting strength, waiting to explode in an exhibition of light and liquid.
I could hear the faint rumble of thunder and smelled the rain-soaked ground as the storm inched its way closer to town.
Then in the distance, the sky exploded in clear brilliant light. The strike, briefly suspended in midair, connected the ground with the heavens.
Buckets of water spilled onto the defenseless ground, spreading across the asphalt, and drenching all those gathered to watch. The wind howled as it encircled the small crowd, our umbrellas reaching towards the sky. Their handles acting as potential lightning rods flirting with the electricity that pulsated around us.
We marveled at the storm’s intensity, its majesty, but we were overcome by its power.
The wind pushed the storm east and as suddenly as it had started, calmness fell around us. The muffled sounds of bird songs filled the air and above our heads, the sun broke through the clouds.
The storm had passed.
Storms come into our lives in so many ways. Some pass as quickly as a spring shower – reviving our attitudes and offering fresh starts. While others, collect intensity and linger for what seems like hours, days, a year, and then another. They hang on, flooding us in sorrow and brokenness.
Bryant McGill, in his book Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life writes,
“The storm is out there and every one of us must eventually face the storm. When the storm comes, pray that it will shake you to your roots and break you wide-open. Being broken open by the storm is your only hope. When you are broken open, you get to discover for the first time what is inside you. Some people never get to see what is inside them; what beauty, what strength, what truth, and love. They were never broken open by the storm. So, don’t run from your pain — run into your pain. Let life’s storm shatter you.”
Being broken open, staying put, not running from the storms in our lives is hard. Sometimes it feels impossible. But what if we plant our feet, face the center of the storm, and lean in. Lean into all it can do to transform us, change our hearts, and mold and shape us.
The comfort is that we never do this alone, God waits just within our reach to support us on the journey.
In Matthew chapter 8, Jesus tells a story about a storm. He was on a boat with his disciples when wind threatened to overcome them. His followers began to panic as the storm began to toss their small craft. In their fear, they reached out to the only person that could help. Jesus says,
…“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
New International Version (NIV)
Have you ever noticed that after a storm there is stillness? A peacefulness that fills the space. It is such a strong presence you can feel it in your spirit. Storms have a way of shaking us, disrupting our perspectives, self-righteousness, and pride. They soften our words, and judgments, washing us a little cleaner from the inside out.
So, the next time you see the storm clouds forming, you hear the faint crack of thunder or smell the rain, stand and face them. Open your arms wide and embrace it. Be confident that you will never face any storm alone and when you become weak and tired from the fight, confidently know that God calms storms.
You are His BeLOVED.
You can lean on Him and trust Him for every storm in your life.
He loves you.
Please take a few minutes to read these passages from Matthew 8 and reflect on the questions that follow.
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.
Jesus Calms the Storm
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Take a few minutes to consider the following.
- Are you currently facing a storm? If yes, are you leaning into it or contemplating running away?
- What is one thing you can do today to help you withstand the impact of your storm?
- Do you see God working in the midst of your storm?