Everyone is talking about what could be the “Storm of the Century” here in West Michigan. I’ve heard reports of a potential 10-14 inches of snow and winds up to 40 MPH starting this evening! I personally love being snowed in but wasn’t so thrilled that I desperately needed to go to the store with an entire sheet of paper full of stuff to get. So…me, Jackson and about a million other people trucked through Meijer this afternoon and weaved through the traffic loading up our carts before the snow hits. Not exactly calm! For me it was a manageable train wreck as I ended up carrying Jackson and pulling my heaping cart to the check-out. Thankfully our almost 1-year-old was in very good spirits and we made it home to batten down the hatches!
As I was driving home in the freezing gusts of wind I was thinking about the other kinds of storms we face in our lives. Storms of loss, pain, sorrow and strife. We aren’t always warned that they are coming and at times they crash out of a bright, blue, sunny sky. They are the kind of storms that bring us to our knees and make us cry out in desperation. We in complete shock ask questions like “Why?” and “How?” and wonder how we will live through the day let alone make it to tomorrow. I must say I’ve had storms like this where there was complete calm right up until the rain started to pour out of a seemingly bright, blue, sunny sky. Would it have been better to have been prepared? At first I thought maybe but now I don’t think so or God would’ve arranged for it. Or perhaps he was trying to warn me, but I just wasn’t listening? Perhaps the clouds were rolling in and I just wasn’t paying close enough attention see them?
Sometimes when we’re faced with a storm that seems to drag on for days, weeks, months or years we wonder if we will ever make it through. We wonder why the Lord won’t just calm it the way He did in when he was in the little fishing boat with his disciples. But the story of when Jesus walked on the water comes to my mind. He didn’t calm that storm. He took them safely through it. I really believe that storms, or trials, are given to us to make us trust, make us stronger, make us grow and hold onto the Lord to get us through. James says in chapter 1 verses 2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Considering it “pure joy” can be really hard and so can trusting that a trial might be “good for us” when we can barely find the strength to stand, but one thing I’ve learned is that God knows what’s best for me in the plan He has for my life. Would I have chosen this path full of pain and suffering? Not in a million years! But I am so grateful to be on it! A good friend of mine, Holly, also a chronic pain sufferer, said that she has seen more of God’s grace in the last 10 years than most see in a lifetime and she wouldn’t trade that for the world. I would have to agree! We all face trials and difficulty. Whatever kind of storm you are in I pray that you will trust the Lord to safely carry you through it to the other side.
Well it’s beginning to snow here…and so it begins. If it is the “Storm of the Century” I am very thankful to be home, warm and safely wrapped in the arms of God’s love. My prayer that you are as well…in whatever type of storm you find yourself in!