In Oklahoma spring usually brings a rash of storms. Rain is a delicate balancing act here. We either get too much or too little. For the last several years we have been in a drought, so we could use some moisture. But when it comes all at once it creates problems.
Our part of the country is known as tornado alley. In the spring it is not unusual to hear the warning sirens sound. We take those seriously around here, because Oklahomans know how much damage can be done in just a few seconds. While you can never totally tornado proof your home, there are certainly precautions you can take to save your life. Some people have storm cellars or safe rooms, while others of us have a designated interior room.
I have a little “Nervous Nellie” dog. She lets me know when a storm is coming way in advance of the thunder. Sometimes her internal radar goes off a day in advance. Wouldn’t it be great if something would trigger an alarm when a life storm was approaching? If we just had a little notice, maybe we could get out of the storm’s path or at least take some precautions. Sometimes there are some warning signs that we just don’t notice. At other times we are blindsided, and we foolishly tell ourselves if we had seen it coming it wouldn’t hurt so badly.
Are you experiencing one of life’s storms right now? Take courage and know that storms don’t last, but you will. You will get through this! And the good news is, God promises to walk through the storm with you! Instead of asking the futile question, “Why me,” ask yourself what this situation has for you that you would not get any other way. Begin to look for the hidden gifts in your adversity. When you get on the other side of this you may look back and think, “I didn’t like it, I didn’t ask for it, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything because it made me the person I am today. It got me to the place I need to be.” And hopefully you will use this storm experience to encourage others in their storms.
Maybe God is using this stormy time to develop your trust muscles. After my knee surgery I had to go through physical therapy. I didn’t like it! It hurt! But that physical therapy made me stronger. And the therapist wasn’t deliberately trying to harm me, he was trying to help me.
It is the same thing when we go through a hard time. We may think that we have walked with God long enough to have a mature faith. Then something happens that rocks our world and we find that God has put us in the path of a storm to develop our faith. Maybe He is using the storm to reveal a new path we are to take. One of my favorite quotes is, “Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.” Storms provide an opportunity to cling to the promises of God and allow Him to demonstrate His power in your life.
“When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:2-3a (NLT).
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4 (NLT).
Revised and updated from the book, Seasons: Devotionals for the Seasons of Life.