When the storm comes…

Certainly, you’ve experienced it.  That storm. You know the one. That horrifying, part-the-blue-skies, ominous clouds, raging winds, growling thunderous echoes roaring from its belly type of storm. The one that seems to come after you. The one that intensifies the closer it gets. You can’t help but feel the tingle of anxiety in the pit of your being as you wonder, will this one get me? What kind of disaster will this storm bring into my life?

Having been a storm chaser, I know this storm all too well. I don’t fear the storm though.  For some reason, I never have. I’ve always been fascinated by its very nature, respectful of the power, the force and the potential for destruction it carries. I’ve seen with my own eyes and heard many survivors’ horrendous accounts of what that storm can do.

It was just another day for me, and I was leaving work.  To the east, crisp, clear blue beautiful skies, birds chirping, light breeze getting a bit more wispy, but I could smell it.  I could smell the storm in the air. As I faced the beautiful blue, winds picked up at my back and I knew, a storm, a big storm was coming. As I turned to face the inevitable, I was blasted with a gust and the cloud formation was an awesome display of His Creation, declaring His GLORY. The storm carried with it, a whale’s belly of tumultuous skies, steadily shifting and sifting and stirring up angry unstable skies just to my west.  Ah, yes.  The storm was coming. As I mentioned already, I don’t fear the storm. I know Who has me in the midst, but alas, I was hardly interested in getting drenched before my coffee date, so I raced the storm, watching it chase me down in the rear view mirror.

No matter which direction I turned, the storm bubbled up from every direction in hot pursuit of me.  Arriving at the coffee shop, I stepped from my car to be assaulted by another blast of wind from this raging monster. I stood to face it, allowing the howling wind to assault me, almost as if telling the storm it was no match for the One who controls it.

It was at that point I heard, in a crisp clear voice, perhaps from Spirit deep inside of me, perhaps buried in a clap of thunder, perhaps whispered in the breeze, but the message was clear and the words were, “This storm is coming for you.”

Immediately, that proclamation uttered for me incited a twinge of pulse flutter as it planted itself in my soul as a warning of things to come. This storm that I faced in the physical represented something I was about to face in the spiritual, and it was coming for me. My knower knew. It was so much bigger than this storm before me, but His warning, His proclamation helped me somehow feel more equipped, somehow secure.  I whispered this prayer to the Wind, “Lord, make me ready.”

Ready.

I didn’t ask He take the storm from me.
I didn’t ask, why me?
I just wanted to be ready.

coming-storm-dec-2016

It’s funny how storms so easily figuratively represent trials people face in life.  If I tell you, I faced a storm in my life, you most likely understand that to mean a rough patch, some level of suffering, some circumstance that was beyond my control and raked me over the coals.  Well, the storm has most definitely arrived in my life.  Life has turned on end many times over, as if caught in a rip current.  The compilation of life situations have been a whirlwind of astronomic proportions, yet each step, He has used the storm, the larger than life trials, to teach me, equip me, grow me, stretch me, ready me, and show me how He would have me navigate. He placed me in a private IC(see)U room {borrowed from a dear kindred},  just Him and me, where He has offered tender care and guidance, shelter and refuge. I have found during that time with Him, wrapped in His gentle and assuring loving Presence, the Peace that surpasses understanding.

I’ve shared in previous blogs my nature is to take control, be the leader, be the one who has answers, solutions, fixes for all the problems.  My nature is to figure out the way, if I don’t already know it.  It’s to be decisive, maintain control, step up to the plate and swing. The problem with the storm is, I am not in control of the storm. I might understand the science of the storm. I may be able to discern which way things are going. I may be able to show scientifically where and when and how, but in reality, it’s not up to me. It never has been. Sometimes, we just find ourselves there, in the middle of the storm, and all the knowledge in the world won’t spare us. We just have to batten down the hatches and hunker down.

This is where I found myself over these past several months, in the eye of the storm, in the middle of the {spiritual} war. Life. It does tend to get tedious. It can become for us a valley of the shadow of death. I find it at times suffocating how all-encompassing it can become. I had heard in that Wind on that stormy day “the storm is coming for you!”, but now through loving guidance and kind teaching from a loving Father, I believe instead He was saying “The storm is coming, for you.”  It was coming for my sake, to give Him opportunities to teach me, to stretch me, to grow me.  It was all part of His plan. He didn’t take away my storm; instead He used it for my good, in ways only He could.

Genesis 50:20(ESV)
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Through it all, I have learned so much about my God, myself, my relationships, my place. He has taught me. He has shown me.  The storm was coming, for me. For me to learn, be equipped, grow, stretch, be ready,  and see some things I needed help seeing and only the storm would make me see. I do not fear the storm.  I am thankful for it.

I am not afraid of the storm; I know the One who controls the storm.
In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
And in the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm
Ryan Stevenson – “Eye of the Storm”

And I’m OK with that,
Jenn

P.S. This song has been powerful for me during this stormy season.  Perhaps you can be comforted by it in your own.
Eye of the Storm by Ryan Stevenson

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