If We Could Wish The Storms Away, Would We?
Storms are going to come. Following Jesus doesn't mean peaceful seas all the time. We can't plan out the storms and can't guess at when or how they are going to come.
Storms come out of the blue, carried on wind we don't even know is blowing our way.
I struggle with the concept that God would bring storms into our lives. I just can't marry that thought with his character. I don't think he has a list of names and a list of trials that he matches up with people. He isn't crafting our trials so we can be tested and purified.
But it can feel that way sometimes.
I have very much felt before that God saw the storm coming, looked at all it's ferocity and said, "Let's test her with this one and see how she does." I know that isn't true, though. I know that what God does, is he looks at the storms that are already in motion, because of this broken world filled with broken people, and he determines whether we are strong enough to face it before he gives it permission to blow our way. We often think we are not strong enough to face it.
But God believes in us more than we tend to believe in ourselves.
He always sees what we can become rather than what we have been. He is an in motion God, always working to strengthen our character and our relationship. The truth is we only learn and grow in the storms. We can talk all day about the truth, about who God is, what we should do, how we should be...but talk is cheap. It's the steps we take when it is hard that determine our character.
And Godly character is priceless.
It is when the storm rages that we must choose to either run under the shelter of God's mighty arm, or, run from him out onto the open sea..alone.
The tenderness of Jesus is revealed in storms.
I can look back at every painful moment, and see Jesus was always present. He didn't run away from me because it was too hard, because I was hurting and he didn't know what to do. He stayed with me, sheltered me,
he was faithful.
It isn't until we let the rain come down in sheets, and the wind howl, that we learn what shelter really is. It isn't until we find ourselves with no means of protecting ourselves from the raging sea that we learn what real provision really is. It isn't until we feel alone and uncertain that we learn what faithful really means. It hurts, the storms are hard and doubt comes in like a tidal wave.
What if we can't survive this one?
Don't underestimate the God in you, friend. His grace is freely given and his grace is enough. It is harder to walk in grace, not because grace is hard but because we are fearful beings. We are only ever full of questions and those questions come blazing to the surface when things are uncertain. When the storm comes, we wonder right away if we have what it takes to pass through this one.
Grace promises us we will make it.
I think I will boldly say that the storms are necessary - yes, necessary - to our growth. God knows this, and that is why he gives the wind permission to howl and the sea to rage. We are precious to him, and he wants so much to show us his perfect love. He so much wants to reveal his faithfulness to us...
and he does that in the storms.
We can remember that the storms are never bigger than our God. He is familiar with the storm, has been in many more than us. Don't wish the storms away, friend, for Jesus is always near, always faithful.
Even when it's hard, even when it hurts...
He is in control...
and he will be our shelter in the storm.