Find God in Your Storm
I was on the phone with a friend of mine the other day talking about how unbothered we have been by 2020. We were not insensitive to all the destruction, pain, sorrow, and unrest of the year. We simply recognized how, even in the midst of all that, we have been moved but not shaken.
We are all going through storms in our lives of one kind or another. The word “Storm” covers a wide variety of challenges and uncomfortable situations that erupts in our lives. Whether sickness or death, financial instability, racial unrest, fires, floods, or the situations that arise in our relationships with others, we are all going through some “storm” or another. How do we learn to affect the storm and stop allowing the storm to affect us?
Gaining Perspective on the storm
I don’t believe God causes storms in our lives. I think between our mistakes, poor choices, and the enemy trying to trip us up at every turn, God doesn’t need to cause it. According to Romans 8:28, God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He doesn’t send storms, but I believe He uses them
When enduring our challenges, there are a couple questions we can ask ourselves:
What can I gain from this that can be applied to other areas of my life?
What can I learn in this that I can share with others?
How is this impacting my life, and which highlighted areas in me need to change?
These questions are present tense because they should be asked while in the storm. However, often we can’t see past our situation enough to ask anything but, “God, please get me out of this.” We have to remember: A good God allowed it, and therefore we have to trust it.
Invite God Into the Storm
Psalm 23:4 reads, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadows of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
Sometimes, it may feel as if God is sleeping during our storms. This is because we haven’t woken Him up yet! It is up to us to invite Him into our storms, and to do this we must call on Him. What’s stopping you?
The challenge is: We can’t invite Him in and start telling Him what we want Him to do. The very nature of God is to be in control, not controlled.
The first time I called out to God, I was about 8 or 9. I didn’t know much, only that everyone said that “Jesus saves,” and I needed to be saved. I lived in a dysfunctional family with drug and alcohol abuse, and was desperate to be rescued from the horrible beatings that came without warning or reason, and the verbal abuse and emotional humiliation, among other things. I was tired of the fear and anxiety that consumed me daily, and cried out to God that day in pure, unwavering desperation for His help.
There are no words that could convey what happened to me at that moment, but something changed inside of me. That day, God didn’t remove me from my situation. Instead, He gave me everything I needed to endure the situation. In that moment I learned who to call on in my time of need; have peace in chaos; and love those who hate me. I found a place of refuge, a place of peace and comfort. I felt refreshed and renewed, and the world around me didn’t seem so bad anymore. I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4
Find Purpose in the Storm
God can choose to rescue us from the storms or use them for a greater purpose in our life. Therefore, our job in the storm is not just to get through it, but to find the purpose of the storm.
This is where our Christian foundation comes in. Our core beliefs as Christians should anchor us in our questioning moments. God is good and works everything for our good should give you stability. God is sovereign and ruler over everything. God loves me so much and wants to be in an intimate relationship with me that He sent Jesus to the cross to die for my sins, that I may be righteous in His sight. But not only that, Jesus conquered hell and death then rose to give me the power to tread on serpents and have life abundantly. He now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding on my behalf daily. When these truths are your foundation, the lies of the enemy won’t sway or distract you. Only then will you be free to address the reasons for the storm.
Many Christians are not yet unwavering in these truths. Many of us are waiting on evidence, but these truths are based on your decision to believe by faith, without proof. Once you decide, God will strengthen your faith with the proof, but your faith must come first. Believing without seeing is an exercise because it’s dark in the storm. When we can stand unmovable on these foundational truths, we can believe for greater from God before seeing it. That’s the kind of faith that’s developed in the storm. But you need to have some to start with.
There are so many incredible things that God does in us, and through us, that can only take place in the storms of our life. Embrace the storms of life and know that God will guide you through them and continue to perfect you in them. Take some time to think about the storms you’ve been through and the blessings that came out of them. These are not just testimonies to strengthen others, they are also to strengthen you. We should have a running list that we refer back to regularly. This is why God commands Israel to keep the Passover. Remembering where God has brought me from lets me know that He can do exceedingly abundantly above all that I can ask for or even think.