My husband, Steve, and I own property that has an eagle's nest on it. One day after a spring storm we went out to check on the property and found that a third of the nest had been blown down.
As I looked at the fallen pieces, it occurred to me that often when we think of eagles we picture the majestic bird that is our national symbol--a bird that is able to soar high above any tempest that might come along. We rarely think of eagles as having to go through storms.
Yet if a storm comes while young are in the nest, the mother eagle has to leave her soaring and return to the nest to protect them. When it is over, she has to rebuild what has been lost and go on.
Sometimes as believers we find that our own "nests" have been damaged by a storm while we were off soaring with God. Serious health issues, such as the one Twila Paris describes in our cover story, may strike our families. We may be hit by a rebellious child, or a husband who wants a divorce, or a financial crisis. Many storms come into our lives, and we must learn to walk through them and keep going.
The storms shouldn't be a surprise. Jesus told us, "'In this world you will have trouble'" (John 16:33, NIV). But He also said, "'Take heart! I have overcome the world.'"
He will give us the grace to get through and will secure for us an overcoming victory as He causes all things to "work together for good" (Rom. 8:28). In the process our character will be developed if we allow the Holy Spirit to mature us.
Recently I had lunch with a friend who has walked through several health crises--breast cancer, MS (multiple sclerosis) and the serious illness of a family member. She said that her cry is, "God, where are You in all this?"
In the middle of a storm we can feel abandoned by God and wonder where He is. But He has promised that if we seek Him we will find Him (see Jer. 29:13). My friend said that as she searched for Jesus, she began to see Him in the faces of those He had sent to encourage her through prayer and meeting the practical needs of her family.
When you take your eyes off your circumstances, you'll see what my friend did: God's provision in those He sends to help. This is much easier if you choose to ride out the storm supernaturally, based on what the Word of God says, rather than viewing it from a natural perspective and allowing your senses, your reason, or your feelings to dictate how you respond.
There is a place of rest in the storm, and that is in trusting Jesus--in knowing He is with you and relying on Him to see you through. In His presence there is fullness of joy (see Ps 16:11). Though it may seem difficult to believe He can bring good out of what you are experiencing, you can depend on Him to help you rebuild your damaged nest and continue on in triumph.