The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends forth lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
(Psalm 135: 6-7)
This morning, I woke up to the sound of thunder rumbling over the mountain and lightning flashing through my bedroom window. Between the loud claps of thunder, I was quite amused when I heard a bird singing. If a bird can sing in the midst of a powerful storm, why shouldn’t we sing when we are going through the storms of life?
It was quite timely when my morning Bible reading contained Psalm 135. As the storm raged outside, my scripture reading reminded me who is in control of all storms – the storms that shake the mountains and rattle the windows, as well as the personal storms of life we all encounter at times. Storms are the perfect reminder of the power of God. No matter how far technology has advanced, man still can’t stop storms.
Nature’s storms have a beauty of their own, even though they can be frightening and unpredictable. It’s breathtaking to see the night sky illuminated by flashes of light and watch the power of the wind sweep rain across the landscape.
Natural storms and personal storms are similar because:
- They often arrive suddenly.
- They bring darkness, uncertainty, and a sense of foreboding disaster.
- They do not last forever.
- At times they bring devastation requiring clean up.
- We have no control over them.
- They may be followed by sunshine and rainbows.
Like natural storms, personal storms often arrive with little warning. Broken relationships, the loss of a job, a health crisis, financial hardship, the death of a loved one, or a tragic accident can change our lives in a moment. Storms uproot our lives and leave a behind a path of destruction in the form of rearranged lives, depression, discouragement, and lifestyle changes.
Thankfully, storms pass in time. Some of the darkest moments in our lives happen just before we experience a breakthrough to better things. It is difficult to find beauty in our personal storms when we are going through them, but we can take comfort in knowing they will eventually end.
Natural and personal storms can leave a long trail of destruction behind. However, when followed by a rebuilding process, new things are brought about that would not have been possible before the storm. As survivors of storms, we can grow in our faith if we continue to trust God in the midst of the storm.
One of the most beautiful things in nature is the appearance of a brilliant rainbow following a powerful thunderstorm or rain shower. I always look at a rainbow and feel it’s God’s way of saying everything will be okay. A rainbow is God’s promise to his people.
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. “
Genesis 9: 12-13
How should we handle the storms of life? During nature’s storms we tend to hunker down and wait until the storm passes. When faced with a personal storm we must wait it out, knowing God has to power to start and stop storms. We have to trust God while we weather it out.
I was reminded of this a few weeks ago at an appointment with my gynecologist, who happens to be one of the most wonderful christian doctors I’ve even encountered. She has been with me through some of my most difficult health issues. I hadn’t seen her for several years. She lost her husband recently to a massive heart attack at the age of 56. When she found out I lost my husband last summer, she hugged me, held my hand, and said, “Joni, you have to trust God in this. It’s hard. I know how it feels, but God does not make mistakes. We have to keep trusting in Him, no matter what. Promise me you will never give up on God.”
I was having particularly bad day that day. I was sick and discouraged. I know the importance of trusting God when things don’t make sense, but that day I just needed to hear it. I needed that reassurance coming from someone who understood exactly how I felt. I left that appointment feeling stronger in my faith. Yes, we must trust God, even when things are falling apart around us. He is in control of the storm.
We can drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out why certain things happen, but we don’t always need to know why. We don’t always need an answer. Contentment and peace come when we surrender our storms to God and trust Him for the outcome.
Then, like the bird I heard singing between the claps of thunder and the flashes of lightning, we can sing in the midst of the storm, because we know the creator of the universe is the one who calms the storms and cares for us.
Are you going through a difficult personal storm? Trust God. Sing a song of praise while you wait out the storm, and never stop watching for the appearance of your rainbow.