Storms

     Have you been in a storm lately?   I am not referring to one of  meteorological making.  I’m talking about one of those figurative storms that comes along when it seems as if you are living in the path of a tornado, you are barely hanging on for dear life, and the outcome looks bleak. That is when I usually find myself totally freaking out like the disciples of Jesus caught on a boat out in a terrible storm, waves crashing in and filling the vessel. And just as they did, I go running to Jesus, whom they found sleeping peacefully in the stern despite the storm, and say, “Don’t you care that this storm is raging in my life and all seems lost?”  (Mark 4: 35-41)
     How has that senario played out recently in your life?  It could be the loss of a loved one, your job, your home, your retirement fund, your health, your dream, a miscarriage, a divorce. What did you do when the storm raged?  Is it raging at this moment? Did you wonder, like the disciples, if Jesus was sleeping and indifferent to your plight?
     I must share this quote with you because God has, not once, but twice brought it to my attention. 
             Sometimes God calms the storm…
             Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.
     The second time I ran across this quote was at the home of a dear friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and spent many long months fighting through surgery, chemo, and radiation.  Unlike the disciples, she did not receive immediate cessation of the wind and waves.  Surely someone gave her this framed quote to remind her that Jesus was not asleep at the wheel, indifferent to her suffering. What an encouraging reminder that must have been that He was right there by her side, a prayer away, prepared to bring her the calmness that she needed to endure, until the storm had passed. My friend, Lisa, was an inspiration to me as she weathered that storm with a calmness and peace that comes only from the Lord.
     My sister, Cindy, has recently endured her own storm as she camped out days on end in an ICU waiting room for the next scheduled visitation time to be spent at the beside of her husband who lingered on the brink of death for months. Again, I witnessed the calmness that only Jesus can give as she never complained and trusted in Him though the storm seemed endless. She is another of my heroes in the faith.  And this past Sunday at church, I listened to John and Pam Keys sing a song entitled Hold Me Jesus by Rich Mullins. This is a bit of the chorus that has been in my head all week:
             Hold me Jesus, I’m shaking like a leaf.
             You have been my King of Glory
             Won’t you be my Prince of Peace. 
     This precious couple knew of the peace that Jesus brings in the storm. They sang from hearts of true experience. Six years ago, their second child was born with complications, and they spent weeks waiting for their storm to subside. Praise God, today their precious little Brendon is the picture of health and never fails to bring a smile to my face. What wonderful examples God has placed in my path of His presence and peace when panic and hoplessness could have prevailed.
     It is my prayer that this will speak to someone today at sea in the storm and bring them comfort. Or that God will bring this to mind the next time the storm clouds begin to roll into your life.  You are not alone.  You are loved with an everlasting love.  Just crawl up into the lap of Jesus, let Him sing over you until the storm passes, and be your Prince of Peace. I can’t think of a better place to be! And don’t forget to bring your backpack full of faith that He will do just as he has promised. What a testimony you will have to share when the storm has passed. To God be the glory!

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