Storms have always been highly symbolic to me. I never understood why until I rediscovered a verse in Psalms that reads, "He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed" (107:29, NIV).
What prompted my thinking about stormy weather was an article by Cheri Fuller we once published in SpiritLed Woman magazine titled, "Praise Him in the Storm." It points out there is never a good reason for us to withhold our praises to the Lord.
I can recall growing up in Florida when Hurricane Donna, a particularly damaging storm, tore through our city, leaving an almost indelible mark. For my sister Bridget and me, the experience was both fascinating and great fun—at first. We thought all the sounds outside our house were "neat."
My mother had baked cakes before the power went out. We played games, told scary stories and stayed up late to "watch the hurricane."
We loved the eerie glow of the kerosene lamps. We imagined that things must have been like this back when our parents were children in the "old days."
Finally, we got to bed. Through the night we were only faintly aware of what was happening around us. But when we awoke, we discovered that we had been saved from a very real danger. All the while my sister and I had been blissfully enjoying the excitement or sleeping away, a furious storm had been raging outside.
Our yard was strewn with huge tree limbs and chunks of debris that had been peeled off our neighbors' roofs. Oaks that had stood for a century had been uprooted and tossed aside. Slowly, I started thinking differently about this experience and realized how grateful we should be that the Lord had protected us.
Natural storms remind me of God's sovereign protection. They help me remember that He rules over every circumstance and stills the storms of life after they've served His purposes.
I'd like to say that I still face life's storms with the same kind of abandon I had as a child. But I know a lot more now, and with knowledge has come the temptation to fear what's ahead. So, during rough times I try to look back and recall how faithful God has been to me through all kinds of tumultuous situations.
Reflecting on God's faithfulness, you can face your challenges and continue to praise and worship the Lord. Your praise attests to your trust in His power and love. It reminds you of who He is and that He will never change. It also supernaturally lifts you to the realm where His peace reigns—where you know with all certainty that He is larger than your troubles.
I felt totally secure while Hurricane Donna raged outside. I had no doubts that I'd be safe. Though I may never recover that same childish innocence, I am no less secure. In place of the innocence, God has given me the experience of His perfect, incomprehensible peace. He has delivered me from the effects of numerous storms of every sort, and as a result, my faith in Him has matured.
When we come through storms and experience God's deliverance, something wonderful happens to us, inside and out. We remember that Jesus is Lord over everything. We are blessed with a testimony and a deeper understanding that life's storms do not last forever. In the aftermath, we will never see God in quite the same way again.
Prayer Power for the Week of January 10, 2016
This week thank God that He has helped you through the storms of your life, and that He is able to see you through anything that may come your way. Praise Him in the midst of your current challenges and come boldly to His throne with your requests and concerns for the future. Continue to pray for the situation in the Middle East and pray for God's purpose to be fulfilled there. Pray that God's people would pray in one accord for revival and the expansion of God's kingdom around the world. Pray that our leaders would turn to the Lord for wisdom and strategies to solve our nation's foreign, domestic and economic problems. Remember our military and their families (Psalm 107:29; Heb. 4:16; James 1:5).
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