PEACE IN THE STORM
by Sharonda Faison
Job’s experience of losing his children, his wealth, and his health paints a clear and vivid picture of a person going through a very difficult storm. To add, each of his friends came to share bits and pieces of the bad reports detailing just how severe his situation was (as if he didn’t already know).
As bleak as things may look from the perspective of the naked eye, there are so many things to keep in mind when we face challenging storms in our own lives. Just like in Job’s situation, though it took a while, he ended up with "Good News", and our Father desires for us to read all about it!
Despite our best laid plans, there are times in life when unfavorable situations land, unexpectedly, at our doorsteps. In this season, many of us are trying to stay strong and ‘hold it together’ under some serious circumstances. Good News: YOU don’t have to be strong on your own. No matter what it looks like, YOU are NOT alone. And because God loves you so very much, you never will be.
Job went through the majority of his storm not knowing that everything he was facing was orchestrated by God. He had no idea that his commitment to God would ultimately be the foundation of every future blessing God would grant him. In your own life, do not take God out of the situation, but make him the center of it. It’s in some of our most vulnerable states, that we see the unfailing strength and beauty of God as He comes to our rescue. Don’t rob Him of the opportunity to come in and save the day by trying to be your own hero.
Knowing where you will find shelter in a storm is not only a natural necessity, but a spiritual one as well. Being caught in a storm can pull you out with the tides or lead you in to safety. Good News: God is NOT unaware of your storms; He just sees them as opportunities for you to grow and blossom.
When Jesus left from teaching at the lake, He went to the stern of the boat to rest. The storm became so bad that the disciples willingly went to Jesus for help. We see in the book of Jonah, that he was only on the boat to escape God. That storm drove him back to God. In both cases, the people were looking for shelter: the disciples sought shelter with God; Jonah was looking for shelter away from God. Still, God used both situations to show different sides of Himself. The disciples needed to know that the Son of God has power over everything, even the wind and the waves. Jonah (the prideful prophet) needed to know that God is faithful and merciful, even to the undeserving.
Just like in the examples above, our storms come to teach us more than we can see at the moment, but in His timing, He will make His plans clear. This is why the Word tells us in Hebrews that no discipline (training and spiritual maturity) seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained (taught) by it. This is why finding shelter in Him is the safest place we can be; even if it feels like we are stuck out in the middle of the sea.
Don’t let the storms you face take you away from God, but use them as a tool to embrace Him like never before. The winds howl and the rain rushes down the windows but it’s vital that we don’t lose our focus on Jesus, no matter how unclear our vantage point may seem. Good News: The Word tells us that as long as we live, there will be seed time and harvest. (My) Translation: Storms are seasonal, but God’s love for you is eternal.
There will be a time for the storms, but there will also be a time for the sunshine. Job endured, and we know that he was blessed double for his trouble. Remember, the race is given to the one who endures to the very end. (The sun rises at the end of night). Though it’s hard, must stand on His promises until the Lord shows up. So, while the thunder rumbles and the lightning flashes, be ever so careful to stay in the bosom of our Heavenly Father. The sun will rise… And when it does, hold on to its beam, bask in its warmth, and stretch out in its rays.
As you continue on your journey to victory, though the bad reports may come, remember the Good News: You are not alone, there is safety in His shelter, and it won’t always be this way. Friends, do not lose heart. Talk to Him. Listen to Him. Wait on Him. Be with Him. Endure with Him, so that you may rejoice with Him.
God says, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” –Jer. 29:11 (MSG)