There are still storms raging in my life. Storms where dark clouds linger and no matter how hard I try to find blue sky it’s just not there. There are other storms that seem to have blown past, and the warmth of the sun appears, but then the thunder rolls in again, and I brace myself for the strong winds and, “cast my cares on the Lord, who will sustain me.” (Psalm 55:22)
Then there’s the storm that has settled, the one that came out of the blue, out of the stillness of the day, and threatened to take away the calm. Although, it sent a strong and scary downpour, the skies are clear, and I’m in the aftermath of this storm.
It was that one phone call, the call no one ever wants to get from the Doctor. That call when you’re told, “we’ve found some abnormalities on your test and you need to come back for more testing.” Although, my first response to this news was a heart racing, mind running, and stomach tied up in knots, feeling, I knew God was there. I knew I didn’t have to worry. Christ already knew the outcome of the test and I could trust Him with my life.
I hung up the phone, put on my headphones and started to listen to praise music, hopped on my bike, and just pedaled. Hard. And as I listened to song after song my heart and mind were at peace. With each song came God’s promises. I will, “walk upon the waters and keep my eyes above the storm.” “I can face the fear of the unknown,” because, “whisper it now, or shout it out,” “there is power in the name of Jesus.” He is “my hope, my strong deliverer.” He is, “Strength in my weakness, the refuge I seek.” “I know the one who goes before me, He is a friend of mine, the Lord of angel armies, is always by my side, whom shall I fear!?” This was seeking God’s presence in the middle of a raging storm and finding the calm.
But then, a second phone call came. A second test result with abnormal findings. I wanted to give into my fear and let my mind wander, but again I sought Christ. However, when the third phone call came and there was yet another abnormal finding, I began to feel the rain. I started to listen to the thunder. The lightening seemed so close, too close. I was afraid. This was a strong storm and I was beginning to feel like I was being swallowed up into the waves, out of control, crashing into the rocks. I started to think about the destruction this storm could bring. One thought turned into another and each thought seemed more devastating than the last. I found myself paralyzed with fear and the “what-if’s?” What if it is cancer? What if God was going to take me from my kids? What if I was going to die? Where was my Strength? My Hope? My ever present Help in danger? Where was He?
He was still there. He is always there. But because, I had removed my focus from Him and allowed myself to look into the eye of the storm, I became afraid. On my own, I can’t make it through the storm. I might be able to stand my ground for a while, but soon I will find myself drowning in the waters.
If I allow myself to focus on that first thought, that first doubt of God’s promises I will be swept away by the storm. That’s why it’s so important to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) As soon as the thought, “What if it is cancer,” entered my mind I should have given it to God. I should have “sought Him because He would have answered Me and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4) This could have stopped the whirlwind of thoughts from piling up.
After what seemed liked an eternity of waiting, I was told by the doctor that all additional tests came back normal. There was no cancer found in my body. I was beyond thankful and relieved. I know that this isn’t always the case. Sometimes we get answers we don’t want to hear. But, we have to trust that when things turn out good, God is good, and when things turn out differently than we hoped, God is still good. (Psalm 136:1) He does not change. (Hebrews 13:8) If my test results had returned positive I would have held onto my belief that God remains the same, and everything brought into my life, good or bad, can always be used for His Glory, if I surrender to His will. (Romans 8:28)
Storms come and go. Some storms linger and some storms pass. Sometimes through the storm we find it easy to cling to Christ and trust Him. Sometimes through the storm our thoughts wander, and we doubt that God is going to keep His promises. Every storm is difficult to endure, but when we surrender our fears to Jesus and He becomes our refuge in the storm, we can “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that they can produce endurance, character, and hope” (Romans 5:3-5) and we can come out of the storm stronger. I pray that every storm I weather will be used to draw me to a stronger faith in Christ. He is my strong and firm foundation and He can not be shaken through any storm.
It’s clear that you have faced some very real storms in your life. Memorable piece, thanks!
Like C.S Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”