“Your storm will come if it hasn’t already. In fact, the Bible reminds us that “in this life you will have many trials”. For the Christian, though, the verse doesn’t end there. It continues…”But take heart. I have overcome the world.” What incredible, comforting news! We have the privilege of serving “a God of paradox”. He delights in showing forth His strength in our weakness. He loves to make His glory shown in the midst of suffering.
Our family is walking through a major storm–both tangible and proverbial. In April, we hovered together in our basement along with several friends while a monster of a tornado ripped our house off the top of us. Not just our house…it leveled the entire farm where my family and my parents lived. The home where I grew up, the barns, the trees, our current home–eighty acres of all that was familiar to us became unrecognizable.
We were instantly displaced (and it’s not easy relocating a family of eleven in an emergency!) with only the clothes we were wearing. Even our vehicles were destroyed.
But as shocking and difficult as that night was and the days that would come, there has come with it a deep peace. Really.
I don’t have room to write about all the details and emotions involved in having your life turned upside down, but I want to encourage anyone walking through a personal storm that God is sufficient to meet our needs there.
I’ve always marveled at the apostle Paul’s response to suffering–his steady character and his contentment in whatever state he was in. What is his secret? I think I have figured it out: GRATITUDE.
The one thing I’ve tried to focus on and remind my children of during this time is the constant need to verbalize and meditate on gratitude. Regardless of our circumstances, when we look closely, we can see the hand of God giving us good gifts every day. From the basic provisions of life to blessings beyond our deserving, it has been such a comfort to see these tangible expressions of His love and know that He walks with us. We are not alone! He will never forsake us!
Additionally, I’ve been reminded that although our humanness would avoid trials, it is always through hardship that we are brought closer to our Creator, forced into a deeper walk with Him and made more like Him. And these are things of real importance…these are what He cares about the most. If we see it as He does, we CAN literally “rejoice” in trials and praise Him for suffering! We can exhale, fall back and trust the One who holds everything in His hand and knows our frailties and is working all things for our good.
I don’t have to like the storm…but I can love what He is doing through it, plant my feet firmly on the “everlasting foundation” and anticipate His goodness and His faithfulness unto me!
“When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.” Proverbs 10:25
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