Spring has sprung! As I write this, my window is open, the breeze is invigorating, and I am soaking up the beautiful sound of Spring! This is the season of new life, the season of fresh air and long walks. The grill comes out of the barn, the swing cushions come out & I start thinking of vegetable & herbs I want to attempt to grow this year. (I was not born with a green thumb, but I do not concede easily, so a-planting I will go!)
The best part is, we have not even made it to my absolute favorite part of Spring. My absolute favorite part of this season is a good old Spring storm! It literally makes me giddy to see storm clouds rolling in & hear the low rumble of thunder in anticipation of a good storm. Bring on the lightning, the big claps of thunder, the electricity flickering, & the downpour! I am looking forward to our first big Spring storm of the season.
I am looking forward to this because an actual storm brings me a sense of peace. In the midst of the chaos of a storm, I sense a calm in my soul. This is how I feel in a real storm, however when it comes to the figurative storms of life, I usually feel anything but peace and calm.
I think there are a few different types of storms we can go through in our lives:
An example of a storm we bring on ourselves can be found in the book of Jonah. Jonah was a man of God, sent by God to give people a message, but Jonah didn’t want to go where God told him to go, and Jonah wanted to do his own thing. He got on a ship and headed in the other direction of where God told him to go. Because of Jonah’s disobedience God sent a storm, and you all know the rest of the story (Jonah 1).
Sometimes we can create our own storm by poor decisions or poor judgement. We get impatient and we don’t want to wait on God, or we disagree with God’s calling or His answer. We take things into our own hands and have to weather some tough storms as a result. I’ve had quite a bit of experience in this area. Many of the storms of my life have been brought on by my own doing. God calls us to obedience. He knows what is best and we need to be people who are chasing after his calling for our lives, not our own.
In the book of Matthew we read about a storm meant to teach and grow the disciples. Jesus & the disciples were sailing on the sea of Galilee. Jesus was asleep and a terrible storm started tossing the boat around. The disciples were terrified and questioned if Jesus cared that they were going to drown. Jesus woke up, calmed the storm and said to this disciples, “Where is your faith?”
I’m pretty confident, when I get to heaven and see Jesus, he is going to say, “Sarah, how many times did you need to hear me say, 'Where is your faith?'” I am the disciple on the boat, in the first minute of the storm, that ran to Jesus, ripped that cover off and said, “What the heck dude, you don’t care if we die!” Dramatic much.
There are storms we experience that are meant to teach us and grow us in our faith. It’s hard to identify a storm in your life as a growth opportunity when you’re in the middle of it. You just want the storm to end and hopefully come out in one piece. If you're in a teachable storm right now, I encourage to go to His word, spend time in His presence. Allow yourself to hear from him and seek out what He wants to teach you, how He wants to grow you!
In the book of Acts, chapter 27, we read about a storm brought on my someone else and how the apostle Paul used it for God’s glory. Paul was a prisoner on a ship on his way to Rome. Paul, even though he was a prisoner, kept warning the guards and giving advice but they would not listen to him. As a result they ended up shipwrecked on the island of Malta for 3 months. The people of Malta were very kind to Paul and the hundreds of shipwrecked passengers. Paul spent this time on Malta ministering to the Island Chief. Paul didn’t walk around saying, “I told you so, you should’ve listening to me”. No, Paul continued the calling the Lord laid on his life, he continued to tell others about Christ. Because of this unplanned stop, Christianity was brought to the people of Malta. Sometimes storms are brought on because of other peoples actions. We can turn these storms into blessings, if we allow the Lord to use us in the middle of unexpected & unwanted storms.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and your staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
I hope as you watch our first spring storm roll in you will be reminded of God’s promises. It doesn’t matter what kind of storm you find yourself in, brought on by yourself, brought on by someone else, or maybe its a storm of life meant to sharpen, grow and teach you. You don’t have to weather this storm alone and your storm will not last forever. Not for one minute of your storm has God forsaken you, He is present with you though it all. I pray you can find the peace and calm in every storm. -Sarah