Posted by Annette Burrell, September 7
Proverbs 10:25 (NIV) “ When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.”
Storms are so unpredictable. They can pop up out of nowhere. July seemed to be a dry month—we got very little rain. There were a few pop-up storms, but by the time August rolled around, it was evident we needed a heavy downpour.
I live on a small lake just south of Atlanta. Sometime during July, we noticed some exposure to the bed of the lake at our shoreline. As the days went by, we saw more and more of the lakebed. We later found out that most of our neighbors were praying for rain at the same time we were. Then, during the middle of August, God showed up with the rain. It was a loud, hard rain! It was pounding! The winds blew, and the lightning bolts flashed, as the Lord continued to answer our prayers. As the skies began to darken, we could see the lake begin to fill up once again. Just before the night sky rendered itself to darkness, we could see the water was now above the original shoreline and coming into the backyard. We went to bed while the storm was still raging, but we felt blessed by what God had done.
The next morning my heart sank when I looked out at what was once our lake. There were puddles of water here and there, and there were dead fish everywhere.
The storm had blown out the gate of the dam, which had developed a small leak some years ago. The compromised dam was not strong enough to withstand the pressure of the storm. Life is like that also. Sometimes, the pressure seems too much to bear. The storm that blew out the dam was over in one night. Since then, it has been repaired, and the lake is almost full again.
Life’s pressures aren’t always that quickly and easily solved.
I have faced one crisis after another over the past three months. I can’t remember a time in my life when the struggles were so severe. My first storm was a life-threatening event in my daughter’s family. Then, we had the relocation of my 90-year-old father. Pop-up storms, disguised as family dissension, wove their way into my life. Another storm was when my car was damaged. After that was the shock of the lake and the loss of so many fish. The last and most recent storm was the dreaded call that my biopsy came back with Squamous cell carcinoma.
Were these storms predictable? Have I handled them well? I wish I could say yes. I have had moments when I was upset and my friends stepped in to reassure me that God is always there for me. In many of my daily devotionals, God has spoken to me to encourage me through the struggles and heartaches.
While there has been tragedy, chaos, dissension, destruction of personal property, and loss of wildlife, God is still here, and He hasn’t changed.
As I’m completing a Bible study by Priscilla Shirer, I have found myself being drawn into God more than ever.
I sense His presence all around and find myself bowing down before Him.
The God who knew the storms would be raging in my life is all around me. The God who protected me from other storms is working it out for His good. He will receive honor and glory when the storms subside.
I think of the disciples and Peter when Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, and the other disciples thought he was a ghost.
Matthew 14:25-32 says, “Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’’’
Often when we think about this passage, we focus on Peter having little faith. But, notice what happened when the disciples recognized God. They began to worship him.
Are you in a storm right now? Do you feel like the pressure is too much to bear?
While the storms of our lives are unpredictable, they are never a surprise to God. He is the one who says, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” And He wants you to “Come” to Him.
Will you take that step today, recognize Him for who He is, and ask Him to come weather these storms with you? Or will you step out as He asks you to come to Him?
God is waiting!
Annette Burrell is an author, speaker, and singer/songwriter. Through Annette’s years of being a public servant, and her devotion to studying the Bible, God has equipped her to lead women into His presence, and share with them how they can grow in Christ. Her passion is learning, sharing about the Heavenly realms, and God’s plan of protection for us as believers.