Jonah 1:12 “Throw me into the sea”, Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault”. NLT
We have been in the midst of a terrible drought here. In over 4 months, it has only rained twice in our city. They even cancelled the fourth of July fireworks, bringing much sadness to our household. Being a military family, we are fiercely patriotic. The celebration of our country’s independence is made even more meaningful by the fact that husbands and sons are involved in the wars around the world. Their willingness to put their lives on the line so that we can live in freedom is never far from our minds. There is just something about fireworks that brings this most special day to a fitting close. I am hoping that we can find a televised version of someone else’s celebration!
Tonight a fierce storm rolled through. The wind tore branches from trees and pulled tender plants from their pots. The raindrops were large, spattering dirt up the sides of the house, quickly forming a flood of water through the yard. The lightning flashed brightly as if God were trying to decide if the batteries were going out on His heavenly flashlight. Thunder crashed and banged in the age old “bowling game” of God that my Gammy used to tell me about. The noise was deafening, bringing chaos to a day that had been hot and slow and thick with summer humidity.
I love the rain storms that God sends. I used to stand out on our porch when I was younger and watch the dark clouds roll towards our house, feeling the air change, watching the trees bend and sway. These days, in my grownup life, I don’t get to enjoy the storms as much as I used to. We are packed into neighborhoods where the storm is upon you and gone before you even know it’s coming. I have to worry about wind damage, lawn furniture, and yard debris instead of being able to just marvel at the beauty of the storm and the gift of rain that it brings us.
There are storms in my life right now. Crashing chaos, loud voices, tears and apologies. Some of it is my fault. Stress has a way of creeping into my soul and coming out as a storm of anger and fear. There are days when I just want to say “throw me out and the storms will go away”. And yet I know that my Abba does not want to hear my cowardly plea. He put me in this place to weather the storms that are before me. He wants me to learn to take shelter from some of the storms, making a place of peace for others who also seek that shelter. He expects me to stand firm in the faith that He will keep me safe if I will but listen to His directions. I know that He expects me to stand up and admit to my fault in this, asking for the forgiveness of those around me, working to fix the wrongs that I have done. In the storms that come from others, He expects me to be the steady one, listening for the truth, letting His spirit work for the good of all those in the boat with me. I know that, above all, He expects me to stand and see the beauty of His handiwork, the reshaping of the landscape of my life with the winds that blow across it, the refilling of the empty vessels as the rains come, and the growth of new life when it is all done.
Dearest Adonai, please bring peace as we stand against the storms that rage around us. Help us to hear Your words above the wind, to feel your Hand holding us up when we sway, and keep us mindful of the power of Your grace.