And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. (Matthew 14:28-29)
Have you ever found yourself swept up into the midst of a storm? Maybe it was a financial storm. Perhaps it was a spiritual or emotional storm. You may be in the midst of some type of storm right now. Today, I’d like to share a few words with you about stormy seasons.
In the past, when a storm blew into my life, my inclination was to rebel against God and attempt to fight the storm on my own. I’d spew anger and bitterness at God for allowing the storm. I was naïve enough to believe that as a child of God, I shouldn’t be exposed to such occurrences. I generally responded with temper tantrums. I’d lie down and give up in the midst of the storm. However, God was never swayed by my outbursts.
Time and experience has taught me that God has a purpose for each storm that enters my life. Some storms I could see looming on the horizon. Others blind-sided me. Some I brought on myself. Others, God allowed as part of His divine plan. Matthew 14:22-33 illustrates that following Jesus can lead you into a storm.
Webster’s II New College Dictionary defines a storm as a violent upheaval of nature. There are parallels between the various types of storms we see in nature (i.e., wind, snow, thunder), and the ones we experience in our Christian walk.
For instance, wind storms such as rejection, failure and heartbreak can take your breath away. They seek to blow you off course and move you out of position for your blessings. Then there are sand storms designed to obscure your vision and prevent you from seeing where God is trying to take you. Family crises, bills, and job issues are sand particles that sting your eyes and obstruct your view of God. Hail storms are intense and destructive. They attempt to do great damage to your being. Hail stones of fear, insecurity, poor self-image, and toxic relationships batter you. Snow storms bring about periods of isolation and loneliness. Heavy snow falls leave you buried beneath the weight of your circumstances. Finally, thunder storms hinder your ability to hear from God. Criticism, harsh words and insults are deafening claps of thunder that rattle the windows of your soul.
I don’t know about you, but storms challenge my faith in God, particularly those of great intensity and/or extended duration. They expose my weaknesses. However, instead of destroying my faith in God, I’ve come to realize storms strengthen my faith in the Lord. The fact that God has brought me through so many storms testifies of His faithfulness and His ability to bring me through. (Part II will post on Wednesday, February 1, 2017)
Stepping out on faith with you,
Rev. Cynthia Jackson