Thursday, December 29, 2011

When A Storm Hits

Usually there are signs that are recognizable when a storm is about to hit. Dark clouds begin to roll overhead. The wind begins to blow a bit harder. Everything begins to dim. And there's that chill that runs up your spine in anticipation of that storm. We think "Get inside. Things are about to get really dicey."

Sometimes, though, we don't see those signs. We become oblivious to those signs. We get so caught up in other things or we simply refuse to acknowledge those signs that we only realize the storm is looming when we feel those first drops of rain. When we hear that crash of thunder.

In this case, I'm not really talking about the kind of storm that you can monitor on the Weather Channel. I'm talking about the storms that rise in our hearts. In our minds. Usually they start with one thought. One feeling. One emotion. And then, just like brewing storm, that thought grows or leads to more thoughts.

Then, suddenly, we are swept up in anxiety. Swept up in anger. Swept up in doubt and hopelessness. It can happen so suddenly and so violently that it is all we see. We don't think about how that storm is really just a blip on the radar. That in the scheme of everything, it is actually pretty small.

In Matthew 8:24, Jesus and His disciples were on a boat and then "Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves. But He was sleeping." Sometimes we feel that way. That God is sometimes far away. Distant. In the following verses, the disciples in their panic ran to Jesus and asked Him to save them.

His response? "Why are you fearful, you of little faith?" (Matt 8:26). He then rebuked the storm and there was great calm.

When we are in the middle of a storm, no matter what it might be for you, we need to run to Him immediately, knowing that He can calm our hearts and minds. That he can give us peace in the chaos. Rest when we need it most.

This morning, I was feeling the waves crashing inside my heart. My mind was swelling up with thoughts that were driving me away from the peace that God grants me daily. And then, in the midst of that chaos, "Be still, and know that I am God" made its way to the forefront of my mind and I remembered how powerful He is to deliver us from any situation. I went into the Word and then there was peace and calm. I was reminded that no matter what the turnout of my situation or predicament would be, God is still God and He was in control over this situation and every situation.   

Storms do two things very well: they distract us from God's power and love and distort the way things actually are. We have to remember who He is, because He will be our anchor when we feel like we are drifting away, He will protect us and be a refuge in the strongest of storms, and He is mightier than any doubt or challenge that presents itself in our lives.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Matthew 8:24-26, Psalm 107:28-30, Psalm 9:9, Psalm 46:1, Proverbs 30:5  

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