Fighting the Storm

Sunset from window

Sometimes a picture can communicate more of what you want to say than words.

It felt like the darkness, the clouds were trying to swallow up the sun as a late afternoon storm rolled in on Monday. The sun kept fighting back the clouds and the storm and I could see it’s fight through a window at the gym.

The sight got at my heart because that’s where I’ve been recently. Unsure of the clouds creeping in and the storm that seems to be forming. I had been wrestling for a couple of weeks on a good thing, a decision that was good and confirming where my heart was leading but that ultimately was not the best thing. Over the weekend I was affirmed in what I felt was where God was leading. Once I voiced it to one person, just one person, I could feel this darkness creep in and a storm brewing. I could feel myself bristle up for a fight because I was choosing the best God has intended and not this very good thing that isn’t for me.

To see that play out visually just hours after I’d started to get that notion was just for me. But maybe it’s for you too. Maybe God needed you to hear, to see, to read that the thing you decided on and now feel the darkness creeping in is what He wants for you. He wants that very best thing, and not the really good thing you said “no” to right now. He wants that obedience in what He has long been calling you towards, reminding you of. The darkness doesn’t want that, Satan doesn’t want you going hard after obedience because it scares him when you are in God’s will, in relationship and fellowship with Him pursuing after what He’d have for you.

May this bring you hope, affirmation, confidence in the fight ahead. The sun always fights back against the encroaching storm. The Son already fought it off so that you could be in Him in all things. When the storm comes. When the clouds creep in. When the devil would have you doubt and fear the very best God has for you.

The Beauty of a Storm

We recently got some heavy storms overnight here in Nashville. The storms aren’t rare in the summer because of the humidity (Lord, the humidity…I attribute this as another side effect of the fall). It’s not common though to get them overnight, as the atmosphere tends to cool and there’s just not enough juice to get one going. However these bubbled up and fired off around 1am. How would I know? Well they rattled the house, waking me up and keeping me awake the majority of the the rest of the early morning hours.

The next morning as I struggled to gain my alertness from the groggy half-sleep I got I caught a glimpse of this sight. I have referenced the glimpses I get out my front guest room window before. But this one was just breathtaking. It caught me and pulled me in, watching the artistry at work as the sun broke over the horizon pushing the clouds back and giving off this beauty I could never put into words. IMG_5679

In the middle of the night, I couldn’t have known what the morning would look like, what beauty I would see from a storm that had raged throughout the night. Instead I was solely focused on what the storm was doing to me, rather than what it might bring on the other side of it.

The beauty of that morning reminds me that I need not fret in the storm, whatever it may be and whatever it may look like. He meets us in the storm (Mark 6:47-52) calling us out to meet Him on the waters that He steadies by His own hand. He brings a message in the mess. He doesn’t see as we see, He doesn’t fret over storms that we find ourselves in. If we are with Him, we too should find calm in the midst. Quieting the storms of our lives through resting with Him (Matthew 8:23-27), finding our faith in Him and not in our circumstances.

Isn’t that how it is though for us? We bemoan the storm we are in, forgetting the beauty that often comes from it once it passes. We forget the peace brought by the God Who Creates because He is with us and focus instead on the weariness of the storm, the fretting of our current selves. We forget that out of a mess comes a message. Out of the black of night comes the dawn breaking with beauty. Putting faith in Him who is with us instead of the circumstances, or our own strength.