I was listening to the rain. I could hear the thunder roar and see flashes of lightning outside my window. There was such intensity in its reflection of my emotions. Highlighting the feelings of sadness mixed with frustration and anger; tears overwhelmed by the desire to scream. A thunderstorm rolling inside me. Rage like lightning that has somehow been kept at bay. It all seemed too much. Then there was a sudden peace as my eyes were called off the storm and refocused on a God who commands the winds and the rains.
At times we will all have to walk through thunderstorms. God’s promises remain. In Isaiah 41:10 we are given these words of comfort, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” We are supported by God. There is never a time we are left to our own power, rather full access to the strength of God is available to us. When there are questions, and there certainly will be, God is not moved. He invites us in even closer when our heart searches for answers. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him,” says James 1:5. His arms are open to soothe our questioning with wisdom when we seek Him and reorient our attention on Him. No, the answers aren’t always to our liking, but the God of the universe cares for our questioning heart with intentionality. We are not alone when the vehemence of life comes. In moments it seems endless. It can seem like peace will never come. Hold on, dear friend. Jesus raised His hand and spoke to a storm once before to tamed it. If it is God’s will, He can do it again.
And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:37-41
Sometimes we don’t get that fix. The struggle within persists and we cry out to God to make it end over and over again. Even then we can be assured we haven’t been abandoned. In 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Paul writes about what he calls a thorn in his side. He says, “three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” While there is much debate on what the thorn is, the truth remains that he was denied reprieve from what vexed him, yet God’s unfailing grace made a way to endure it. Christ still walks amongst the wind and the waves in our life. He calls us out into the tempest to find peace not in the situation around us, but in Him. When Matthew 14:22-33 accounts Jesus walking on the water it reveals His supremacy, not in the calming of the waves but in Christ walking on top of them. Further, when Peter’s focus was on Christ, Jesus’ power enabled him to do the same.
“And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:32-33
The storm outside has passed. There are birds chirping outside my window and the sun is going to begin to rise momentarily. I know while there are still some unsettled waves, there is joy to be found in Christ. I am empowered with the choice to cast my cares on Him and embrace the peace He offers. If you are experiencing the howling of winds, fierce echoes of thunder, an unrelenting downpour, and the chaos of a storm, there is peace available to you. It may not end the storm, but God will bring you through it. I invite you to walk this journey of trust and faith with me, to fix our eyes on God and rejoice despite our circumstances.
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7