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Monday, May 15, 2017

Just another stormy night

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

How is it that weather can go from one extreme to the other? One day it can be in the 100’s in the Phoenix area and the next it can be in the seventies! You can go from huge billowing dust storms to the calm of clear springtime nights. Almost as quickly as the storms start, they are over…leaving behind a plethora of downed branches, gathering leaves, and grit on every surface as far as the eye can see! My poor plants are confused – they don’t know whether to bud or wilt! There can be equally as confusing times in our spiritual, emotional, and/or relational lives that leave us wondering.

When spiritual storms confront us, we might discover either how solidly we are secured to Jesus, riding it out quite well, or how loosely we have become connected to him that we just get tossed to and fro like a cork floating in the sea. The storms might be a battle for our minds – hoping to get an inroad into our faith through troubling thoughts or dreams. They could be a battle for our souls – desiring nothing more than to have us surrender to every evil desire afforded to us at the moment. Still yet, they could be an attempt to disturb our peace “just enough” that we get rattled and begin to waver in our commitment to something God has asked us to do.

Relational storms challenge us in ways we sometimes didn’t ever imagine – making it more than a challenge to “motor on” within that relationship. We want to throw in the towel, but we know we can’t because these relationships are important and their existence is a direct design of God himself. God places us in families – the relationship issues within those families are our doing! God places us within work environments that will challenge us and help to use our creativity – those relational issues with coworkers, bosses, and supervisors are a result of either our pride, perfectionistic attitude, or an unwillingness to see these issues as a way to help us “shave off” a few rough spots in our lives.

Emotional storms seem to be never-ending – raging at will and not letting up until we get ourselves all “twitter-pated”, as Tigger would say. Emotional storms have so many “angles” to them – hormones adding a blend of ups and downs that make circumstances seem a bit like we are weathering a hurricane in open seas in a small life raft! One of the hardest storms to endure is that of our unending emotional upheaval brought on by circumstances we could have or should have controlled, but didn’t. We find ourselves thrown into a fray of mixed up and sometimes “messed up” emotional conflict. These aren’t the easiest storms to ride out, but when we lean into Jesus and stop responding to those emotions like they own us, we might just see how close we are to a break-through in the “weather” we are enduring.

Extremes come and they go. They aren’t the “forever” of life, but they are forever with us – at this time, then at another. We might do well to ask God which type of storm we are facing, what it is that will helps us get safely through the storm, and where it is we can find safety the next time that similar storm rages our way. Just sayin!