They are so thrilling to watch build in the sky…storms. Up until a few years ago–their images and the devastation they bring have rattled me to the core.
Last week, God saw my need and the necessity to stretch me yet again. My ability to cope with yet another storm up close and personal–was challenged. He must’ve wanted to deal with any remaining personal fear and help me surrender more control–trusting Him alone for the outcome. It was the last thing I wanted to do. I didn’t raise my hand to become a volunteer–not many of us would. Now however, I can honestly say I’ve experienced the terror and thrill of outrunning a handful of violent storms in my lifetime. This past week, it was Tropical Storm Hermine that had our family fleeing–all the way up the east coast of Florida to settle in the Carolina’s.
Preparing for our departure from Florida felt as slow as molasses poured from a squirt bottle. My little ones weren’t motivated to gather their bags at lightning speed and climb into the truck. They didn’t understand the mental weight or magnitude of getting ahead of the hurricane’s wind shear or it’s blinding rain. They didn’t understand the ball of stress sitting in the driver’s seat or the anxieties of riding along as a passenger. They couldn’t comprehend the temptation for us to sacrifice our plans to enjoy a long weekend with their brother and sister-in-law–they were oblivious. On a personal note however, storms seem to have a way of sharpening my mental reasoning, getting my adrenaline pumping, and forcing me to make quick decisions based on simple prayers–in some ways it’s a lot like raising toddlers or teenagers. 🙂
I believe that the prayers lifted for us made a critical difference in our traveling success–the northern road before us out of South Florida was clear, we drove on the storms edge for over ten hours, and my nausea, body aches, and a fever subsided before midnight. We did make it safe and sound to our son’s home and the relief that followed wiped away all that we’d just experienced–we were right were we hoped to land.
Life may hold numerous storms for us all, but I would venture to say–most of us will probably tend to avoid rushing into them, am I right? Some of us may prefer to keep things routine, safe, and non-adventurous–but I’m quickly learning that it’s when I come to the end of myself, my ideas, preferences, abilities, and trust the Creator while I’m in a storm–I find real peace because I learn I’m not in control and never will be. During those times, I think God wants my eyes to open wider to the opportunities around me and assure my crying children of His presence, open to the needs of strangers around me, and welcome the courage and God dependence I’ve grown in since the last storm. Maybe He wants me to learn how to pray new prayers, trust Him at a moments notice, believing in and thanking Him for His saving grace once again. God reminds us that He’s still good in the midst of the storm and still in control. Just like he was long ago, He’s still willing to pour out His good grace and still willing to answer our prayers. I pray this day, in whatever storm you are coming out of or going into–that you’ll cling to the One who’s able to give a word and calm it. Even if when all else seems impossible, truly nothing, nothing, will remain impossible for Him…especially when it comes to making us His new creation.