As I write this from New Jersey, Hurricane Sandy is on the way to our area. According to the forecasts, the rain and winds could wreak havoc all along the East Coast. Understandably, my initial reaction was to feel uncomfortable due to the fact that I was not “in control”. After praying, reading the Bible and visiting the adoration chapel, however, I started to feel an unexpected emotion – gratitude for the “storms” in my life.
I know it sounds crazy, but here’s what I realized – If everything in my life is always going great and I’m not facing any problems, I sometimes don’t feel too dependent on God. To give you an example, now that I’m working full time for the Lord, I’m a lot more conscious of the petition “give us this day our daily bread” (in the Lord’s prayer) than I was when I had a job that paid six figures! While I’m not proud to admit it, I’m one of those people who has a tendency to lapse into spiritual laziness when there are no storms in my life. I suspect that I’m not alone.
Our fallen human nature and limited vision often makes us lose sight of the big picture. What exactly is that big picture? That our every breath is willed by God and He sustains our existence. Just as the Israelites forgot about Him time and time again, we also tend to forget about the Lord when skies are blue. When problems arise and we start to feel threatened, however, it doesn’t take us very long to hit our knees. And because He is kind and merciful, the Lord is always willing to take us back.
Furthermore, without the “storms” of uncertainty in our lives, it wouldn’t be possible for us to practice our faith. For faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1) Believing in the sure things of life doesn’t require any faith. On the other hand, believing when things look bleak definitely requires faith. The Lord wants us to remember that He is an “eternal rock” (Is 26:4) and is always there for us, especially when we are being battered by waves.
If, like me, you are in the path of Hurricane Sandy or if you have your own personal “storms” raging around you, take advantage of the opportunity to trust in the Lord’s providence. He loves us and will always do what’s best for us. Although it may involve suffering, whatever happens will help us to one day arrive in Heaven. That should help even the most hardened worrier be thankful for “storms”!
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble and He delivered them from their distress; He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:28-29)