Through the Storm
Through the years I have performed hundreds of weddings. Every time there is an outdoor wedding
planned, I am urged to “pray that it does not rain”. Inevitably, sometimes it does rain and the wedding
plans are compromised, the bride disappointed, the pictures robbed of sunlight. However in the end,
the couple is still married.
Life is like that. Sometimes God accomplishes his purposes without a storm but sometimes He
accomplishes His purposes through the storm. A financial crisis, a health scare, the rebellion of a
child, the betrayal of a friend, the loss of a job… they all happen in spite of our prayers for a “storm
free” life. And though God may not be the direct cause of every storm, He certainly can use every
storm for good in our lives.
Someone has said that we are either going into a storm, caught in the middle of a storm or coming
out of a storm most of our lives. Since there is some truth to this, it would be wise for us to know how
to best navigate the storms of life. Allow me to offer two simple suggestions:
1) Mind the set of your sails
2) Keep moving through
The truth is that the storms of our lives do not really have the power to determine
our direction or our destination. Consider the following excerpt from a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
Some ships sail east and some sail west
By the self same winds that blow
It isn’t the gale, it’s the set of the sail
The determines the way that they go.
Sailing vessels can harness the same winds to sail in opposite directions by the set of their sails. When life becomes chaotic, confusing, difficult, if we throw up our hands in despair, if we allow hopeless thoughts to fill our minds (I don’t know what to do, I’ll never get through this, Why does this always happen to me?), the storm will overcome us and we will wash up on some shore that God never intended us to experience. But, if we renew our minds with truth (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23) and determine we are going to keep trusting God in spite of the storm, this mindset will guide us through the storm without knocking us off course.
In Mark 4 we find Jesus’ and His disciples in a storm. Jesus had invited them to get in the boat with him to “go over to the other side”. Clearly Jesus had a destination in mind and it was NOT the bottom of the sea. However, when the storm came up the disciples lost sight of where they were going AND who was in the boat with them, telling themselves they were going to drown.
We are all on a journey with God. He has promised He will never leave us and that He has prepared a place for us. We are in the boat with Him and we are going to the other side. In light of that, what is a little storm? Just keep moving forward and trusting the one who walks through every storm with you.
The storms of life may come and they may be fierce. We may come through them windblown, soaking wet, frightened and afraid. But we will never come through them alone.