Warm Wednesday Words: Abounding in the Storm and the Calm

 

violent stormPotentially violent storms send a shudder down my spine.  I don’t usually feel like kicking back and playing a board game, reading a book or taking a nap in the eye of a threatening storm, especially when tornado season is upon us.  Though I don’t have a great fear, I also would not describe my behavior as necessarily at ease.  I look forward to the wind dying down, the rain and hail letting up and something more akin to “normal” out my window or back deck view, especially if I have loved ones on the road or without a safe place.

I have a similar attitude about the storms of life.  It takes intentional effort to abound in the storm as well as the calm.   But sometimes the storm must come first so that I will go running to my Refuge and lift my focus to the sweetness and greatness of God’s presence both in the storm and the calm.

In Matt. 8:24-26, Christ was taking a nap during a violent storm.

Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves. But He was sleeping. So the disciples came and woke Him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to die!”

But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was a great calm.”

I don’t believe He was napping because He was unaware.  Being God, He had no reason to fear the elements and wanted to teach His disciples (and us) something about trust as well.  As my friend, and author, Holley Gerth, says in her book, “You’re Going to be Okay”, it’s not such a bad thing to only have a little faith as a starting point, since we are also told if we have faith as small as a mustard seed we can move mountains.

But since just a little faith and fear can go hand in hand, it is my goal to increase my faith and decrease my fear.   With increased faith I can abound in the storm because I know who holds it all in His hand, and know Him well.  As a friend and mentor said, “He wants us to have faith, but He loves us to say, ‘Master, save us!'”  That is abounding, and is only possible if my eyes are on Him, not the storm!  Isa. 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in you.”  And Ps. 18:2, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength in whom I will trust.”

God protects in storms

I’m not sure what a “great” calm is in the verses above, but I suspect it had the touch of the divine.  I want the “great calm after the storm moments” and look forward to them.  Sometimes I even wish for an “out”, i.e., the baby without the labor, the character without the trials, the mountain top without the climb, the “well done” without the obedience, work and sacrifice, but I also want to learn to abound in the storms and in whatever circumstances I find myself in.  Then the “calm” moments are indeed great, with a sweetly personal divine touch.

calm after stormHow about you?  Do you struggle to make peace with the storms before the calm?  Do you abound in both storms and calm?

Coffee-for-Your-Heart-150

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5 thoughts on “Warm Wednesday Words: Abounding in the Storm and the Calm

  1. I’m learning to abound–but it’s not easy–we want a drive-through-fast-food faith and it’s so hard sometimes to understand that faith is built one experience at a time; one obedient act at a time. Thank you for the encouragement–I’ve enjoyed the coffee for my heart ;).

  2. An old friend of mine lost her father this past week. Surely a storm of sorts. I believe He was with us giving us the words to comfort her, to help her find reason, and to accept that in life His plan always favors what is best for his children. Thank you once again for a beautiful writing.

  3. Sorry about your friend’s father. That is most definitely a storm. And I can testify God does give us what we need during trials. Lately, I have known Him to give me the extra grace and sweetness just before a storm and in retrospect, I see it clearly. God does take care of us in a sweetly, personal way even in our losses and our storms, and besides the comfort, it lifts my gaze up (and bends my knee) to the only One who holds it all in His hands.

  4. Storms of life, don’t we all know them. Living in South MS, we know all to well about storms and hurricanes. Only last week in our state, several areas were heavily damaged with tornadoes, lives were lost, property was lost, lives were totally changed forever but many of faith declared that God was in total control. When I turned on my radio the following morning of the storms I heard a woman saying how she knew God’s hand was upon them during the time the tornado touched down leaving the small county hospital destroyed. But then there are times when we have our own personal storms and knowing God is with us, that He never leaves our side is the peace that I so cherish. You used the word, intentional, yes we must be intentional knowing that the creator will lead us through the storms of life, He loves us, He always has and He always will.

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