The Truth About Storms
I’ve been wrestling with this blog post for days now.
These stubborn words! I’ve been stringing and re-stringing them together, hollering at them to whisper hope to the dear people!!!! …but they just wouldn’t listen.
And for whatever reason, when they finally came, they were in the form of a story—just a snippet of my life, a moment several years back.
It was so fleeting in the grand scheme of things, and yet the utter despair I felt in my longing to trust blindly is stamped forever upon my heart. The circumstances surrounding it all are long past, so I’ve chosen not to detail them, but oh, the peace. The lesson that reached me. I cling to it still.
So here is that snapshot, my friends: the moment when I realized the truth about storms.
I settled in to my seat at church that morning, my soul anything but settled. It was torn, grasping for peace, scared to death as each new attempt to find it came up empty.
Where was God in this?
In that place where the mind and the heart rend from one another, and my beliefs clashed against the hollow ache inside… I spoke truth to my soul:
He hasn’t abandoned you.
I spoke truth to my soul because my mind knew what was true, but my soul echoed with blindness. Groped in the dark for the trust it wanted to stand on. Tossed about in the tempest saying “Yes, I will trust. But I don’t know how.”
I spoke truth to my soul again:
He hasn’t abandoned you.
He has a plan.
But oh, it hurt, the absence of peace. He is my peace. This I knew. So why couldn’t I find it? Why did I feel more tossed and uprooted than ever before?
The sermon went on that morning, slivers of it piercing my web of chaos. Cutting away the tangle of questions. Painting a picture of a story I’d heard a thousand times before:
Men in a boat. A storm. A sleeping Savior.
And this question, knocking at my heart: Would you rather be “safe” on the shore, or in the middle of the storm with Your God?
Alone and away from the storm, or right in the midst of the zephyr with the one who is greater than the tossing waves? Mightier than the thunder of great waters?
I was yearning for the “safety” of the shore, despairing when no peace was to be found there. It was only when I stepped out on that roiling water, like Peter, taking a tentative but determined step toward my Savior, that I began to glimpse true peace.
OK, God. I’m in. I’m with you. Where You go, I’ll go.
…and there. There, in that decision—that’s when the peace swept in. Right there in the turmoil.
In the place where My Savior beckoned to the hollow ache inside… He spoke truth to my soul:
The Lord My God In the Midst of Me was Right There in the Midst of It… with me.
And I thought—Yes. This. This is peace. Here with Him.
With the waves crashing all around and no end in sight of the world-shaking, I grasped hold of His outstretched hand, curled in as He enfolded my heart in His embrace, and this is what I heard:
When the storm hits,
Stay the course,
For He is there.
It is He who can calm the storm, and only He who can calm my heart in the meantime.
It is there I can find refuge, there I can be drawn in and taught, in my small faith, how to hold on.
It is then that I can remember: perhaps this storm was sudden, just like the disciples’ storm was, but that does not change who He is. His goodness. His faithfulness. His love.
My friend, if this is you—if the walls in your world have unexpectedly closed in, if the seas around you have been as wild as this post’s words have been stubborn in coming, know this:
He is there. You are not alone. Stay the course, for He is there, and He loves you.