Peace in Stormy Weather

StormyThe rain keeps falling… drip, drip, drip.  The slow persistent water slides from the leaves of the choke cherry tree in an unrelenting manner.  My yard is filled with verdant growth this summer.  We have not had flooding in my area, but since spring, here in Kentucky, we have had many, many cloudy and overcast days.  When it is not outright raining, there is often a visible mist in the air.  So I feel the need for a snorkel when I make a foray into the cool and damp outside world!

As I write, there is a rather bedraggled gray squirrel sitting on my side porch.  He seems to be trying to decide whether to make a dash for it or rest and stay dry under my roof for a while.  We are all affected by this long enduring wetness.

I am not complaining; I am making an observation and a comparison between weather and life.  In my physical life, I have found these gray times can be rather depressing; in my spiritual life, there are occasionally times of reflection, when it is like staring into a mud puddle and trying to see myself ~ very disturbing.

In the Christian walk, it is not always bright and sunny.  There are many seasons when the rain falls, and the days are dreary and long.  Just as King David cried in the Psalms when experiencing deep distress, so would I repeat his words: “I wish I had wings like a dove, so I could fly far away and be at peace.”  I would go and live in some distant desert.  I would quickly find shelter from howling winds and raging storms.” (Psalms 55:6-8 C.E.V.)

When storms, real or exaggerated, seem to be in every breath I inhale, it is as though I keep on taking them in with deep and deeper gasps and I never exhale.  I become filled with turmoil and inner storms.  My enemies are my own fears, and again, I echo words of long ago: “Our God scatter them around like dust in a whirl wind.  Just as flames destroy forest on the mountains, pursue and terrify them (my fears) with tempest of your own.” (Psalms 83: 13-15 C.E.V. emphases mine)

When God puts a storm in my life, a rainbow follows; when I chase a worry, havoc descends and there is no way out, just more worry.  Many times wrong decisions result from anxiety.

Life storms hit with the force of a hurricane, and if I take my eyes off Jesus, they can be my undoing, and I will be blown away.  I long to experience deep trust, and I cling to Nahum 1: 3b where the scriptures tell me God can be seen in the storms; He is in the whirlwinds.  I know this; He has been with me there.

Tumultuous vents in life can come upon all of us unexpectedly; we grab for the lifelines: His word, prayer, trust ,and blind faith.  In Acts, the story of Paul and the storm and the sinking ship teaches us many lessons. “When a gentle wind from the south started blowing, the men thought it was a good time to do what they had planned.  So they pulled up the anchor, and we sailed along the coast of Crete.  But soon a wind called “The Northeaster” blew against us from the island.  The wind struck the ship, and we could not sail against it.  So we let the wind carry the ship.” (Acts 27: 13-15 C.E.V.)

There are times, especially in dark days, when we need to let the wind carry our ship ~ go with God’s flow.  He can steer our boat, if we keep our hands off the helm.  He will give us His courage when we hit the rough water, and He will guide our way when we can’t see the horizon.  If we throw everything out of our lives but Him, He will save us, take us to a safe harbor, a new harbor, and may even give back to us many of the things we had to unload along the way.

The lesson for me is to learn to live in the stormy times and the sunny times in His strength.  I must use His patience and trust His timing for my answers, and in return, He will bless me with the peace I need for every day, in all of life’s weather.

While I have been writing, the clouds have pushed way from each other; they now have elbowroom and a brilliant blue sky is showing off.  The birds are singing; the driveway is drying, and my spirits are rising.

“Thank you Lord!” I feel an anthem coming on!

“When peace like a river…”

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