Have you ever watched a storm roll in? If you are paying attention you can see the signs. The air temperature starts to change. The color of the sky slowly changes; clouds move in front of what may have been a bright blue warm sky. Sometimes the storms come in slowly and you have plenty of warning to get in out of the weather. Other times, they happen so quickly, you blink and there is a deluge of wind, rain, snow or sleet.
They happen in our lives that way as well. There are times you can see the changes rolling in. You know they are coming. You have time to prepare yourself. Then there are those times when you don’t have that opportunity. Where your life changes instantaneously. Out of the blue. No warning. These are the storms that are harder to weather. They catch us off guard. Out of position. Our first reaction is often to panic. To run and hide. This gives us time to gather our thoughts together. To come up with a plan to weather the storm. There are emergency systems in place for psychical storms; yet even those are not always enough.
When a storm catches you off guard, it doesn’t mean that you will lose everything and be destroyed. It means that you are being given an opportunity to learn to rely on God. To put your belief system and your faith to the test. To grow stronger in His love and in His grace. Sure, it is easy to say, and it is much, much harder to do. Yet, it can be done. It won’t happen in an instant; like a life change can. No, it will take time.
It takes time to rebuild after you have been battered against the rocks. After you have been swept out to sea. It takes time to swim back to shore. It takes time to climb back up to the top of the cliff. We get to choose how we will handle the storms that roll into our life; both expected and unexpected. We get to choose whether we are going to sit down and give up or rest in the Lord and renew our strength, so we can start to rebuild ourselves. It isn’t about not being broken. It doesn’t mean you will be “whole” the way you were before. What it means is that you will be renewed. You will be restored to the place you are meant to be. Which isn’t always the place we think we need to be or should be. We don’t know the path that we are walking. We don’t get to see it fully. From time to time it is moment to moment. We do get to believe that we are being taken care of and loved. We do get to strengthen our faith and trust in God that He will see us through. While we do this, we find that we become stronger again. We find that we are able to take a step. A breath. If you can do that. Take the first one. Then you will find that taking the next one, while difficult is doable. You will see that you CAN do it. The first one is the most difficult.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be a lot of “first” steps. However, when you do the first one, you know you can do it. So, the next time you need to move forward you will find that the strength you need is there. You will grow stronger every time. You will move forward and before you know it. You will be back on the beach or at the top of the hill or on the mountaintop. A storm is an opportunity. You choose what to make of it.
Father we thank you for this day. We thank you that we can lean and rely on you when the storms sweep through our lives and carry us away. We thank you that when we don’t feel as if we have the strength, we can trust in you to take care of us. That you will guard us and keep us while we rest and renew in your presence. We thank you for keeping watch over us day and night. That even when we are beaten and battered and feel we can go no farther, You are with us.
We know that we don’t always understand what is happening in our lives or the reasons why. We have faith that You know the reasons. You know the direction we need to go in our lives. That you will keep our feet on the path that we should be walking. We thank you for your love and mercy, for your everlasting love and your strength to get us through both the tough times and the good times.
In Jesus Name we pray,