The Approaching Storm

“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.” — Psalm 107:29

Churning seas, howling wind, and foreboding skies… all signs of an approaching storm. At this moment, millions of Americans are fleeing the Carolinas due to Hurricane Florence and are in danger of losing their homes and other belongings. Fierce winds topping 70 miles per hour and torrential rain has already begun battering the coast.

While modern technology has enabled us to track these deadly storms, weather is still highly unpredictable. An immeasurable number of factors all contribute to just where it is a storm like Florence will make landfall – and even far from the sea, its effects will likely be felt. Meteorologists estimate Florence will likely kick off tornadoes and dump 10 trillion gallons of water into North Carolina alone.

When it comes to “storms” we all face in life, they are rarely expected or planned. When’s the last time you wrote down “flat tire” or “death of a loved one” on your calendar? Sometimes we may see the signs, but catastrophes almost always roar in of out the blue. And they can hurt.

Last year, I lost an aunt, who was battling cancer. This year, I lost my grandmother. Just yesterday, my boss told me his close friend passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. He was just 70 – young by today’s standards! Just to whom or where do we turn when life’s struggles strike?

When my father was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, a song entitled “Louder Than Thunder” by the Christian rock group The Devil Wears Prada spoke to me, well, louder than thunder. “What would it take for things to be quiet?” it asked. The song, ironically, was a radical departure from the band’s usually deafening sound.

At the time, I just wanted the storm I was facing to calm. Interestingly, despite what my father and the rest of my family was going through, I eventually found a sense of peace. I knew, even then, that God was in charge. A few years later, my dad was in remission. But that’s not the point.

The purpose of God is not to quiet all of life’s storms. It’s to provide us with an inner sense of calm in spite of them while glorifying Himself. In fact, God uses some of our worst times to bring us closer to Him. The worst times I’ve faced brought about some of my best times of prayer and reliance on the Lord that I’ve had.

While God is sovereign and has the ability to suppress any time of trouble he wishes – and I think He does so every day – he also uses the darkness to bring emphasis to the light. Without bad, good would never seem so good. In other words, God allows storms in our lives to bring us closer to Him – even when we may not understand their specific purposes at the time.

Another thing about storms is that they’re inevitable. It’s often been said that one is either coming out of one tempest or entering into another. We may not like it. We may not even agree with it. But the fact remains that there will always be trials in this life. As long as you’re on earth, you can expect tribulations.

But the good news is that God is there. From Him we draw our peace, salvation, and security. Like Jesus calming the storm in the Sea of Galilee, God can still provide us with the serenity that we desire today. Even in the midst of our darkest moments.

No matter what you’re going through, you have an advocate on your side at all times. Ask God to help you through the storm.

A prayer for today:

“Lord, we don’t always understand why we must endure the storms in this life. But we know that they always used for your glory. Help us to remember that each trial we face here on earth are for the preparation of the next trials we will face. Provide us with the calm and peace we need to face them as we seek to honor you. Be with each and every person who is facing a storm today – both physically and figuratively. Bless them in a way only You can. We pray this in the name of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

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