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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Don't discount the storm

I’m thanking you, God, out in the streets, singing your praises in town and country. The deeper your love, the higher it goes; every cloud’s a flag to your faithfulness. Soar high in the skies, O God! Cover the whole earth with your glory! And for the sake of the one you love so much, reach down and help me—answer me! (Psalm 108:3-6 MSG)

I am enjoying a week of respite away from the routines of life with my BFF - a rare treat and a privilege. We have already enjoyed sunny weather, awesome wildlife finds, and tremendous fishing. The evenings have been cool, the days mostly sunny, river waters refreshing, and breezes calming. We have had afternoon rain flurries, with mounting clouds, thunder claps, and displays of gloriously bright lightning. Even when it rains, there is something of beauty in our lives - whether it be the rainbow as the sun finally begins to break through or the vividly painted skies at sunset when clouds adorn the sky with colors galore. "Every cloud's a flag to your faithfulness." We should ponder those words, for they imply even the storms are a reminder of the faithfulness of our Creator.

"We all have life storms, and when we get the rough times and we recover from them, we should celebrate that we got through it. No matter how bad it may seem, there's always something beautiful that you can find." (Mattie Stepanek)  As we go through the storms, it may seem like we will never recover, but through God's grace and guidance, we somehow navigate to the other side of the storms bellows and booms. Psalm 107 reminds us it is God who quiets the winds to a whisper and the towering waves to calm waters (vs. 22-32) It also records our response to the calm - we become glad from the inside out. Why? We have discovered something of his love in the midst of the storm - a thing we may have missed had it not been for the times we were tossed to and fro. Even in the storm, we learn to soar!

Winds toss, but God's Word settles even the most raging of winds. Waves seek to engulf us, leaving us capsized and struggling for safety - but God's wisdom rescues us from even the most "engulfing" of issues. Worries capsize us, but God's peace rights us and helps us set course again. If we learn from the storm some nugget of truth which is reveals the preciousness of God's Word, then the storm hasn't been a catastrophe. If we learn not to struggle with our fears, but turn them over to him, we have indeed been blessed in the storm. When we embrace even a smidgen of his wisdom, allowing it to wash over us like refreshing waters on a hot summer's day, we have found the joy in the storm.

By definition, a storm is something we refer to as a "disturbance". This might just shed a little light on why storms come into our lives - to disturb us from those places of complacency we may have settled into without even knowing. We might discover how much we fear change, or where we have overlooked compromise. We could find we have embraced wrong attitudes, finding them as regular companions in our day's journey, only to find the summation of the day unfulfilling and a little frustrating. The storms aren't something to be taken lightly - for it is by them we face things we didn't easily see otherwise. It is also where we will find God's wisdom, peace, and guidance. Just sayin!