In Arizona, it’s not hard to tell when a storm is on the way, but sometimes it’s hard to gauge the speed of a storm. While watching qualifications at the Classic Outboard Championships this past weekend, the afternoon heats were shut out by a moderately fast-moving storm that churned the lake’s water and halted the boats – but not before I was able to take this picture.
As my husband and I stood lakeside getting whipped by the increasing wind, we watched as boaters sped for shore and as onlookers grabbed for flying gear. Someone within earshot exclaimed, “Wow, that storm’s movin’ fast!” Reflecting on it now makes me think of locations that have been decimated by storms – like Hurricane Ian hitting Florida. How people must have felt watching that beast roll in.
Then there are life’s storms – that come in any size, strength, and speed. It seems like whenever I’m going through a storm, inevitably I will hear a teaching on how to survive them. And when I groan inwardly, the Holy Spirit gets me in sync. That’s the beauty of being a Christ follower in the Age of Grace:
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance
all that I have said to you.” – John 14:26
Is there a biblical character that didn’t go through a storm – of nature or of life? Let me know if you come up with one.
Is there a particular biblical person whose story of adversity helps to strengthen you? For me, it’s King David. From disasters in his path – like Goliath (1 Samuel 17) – to calamities of his own making – like the situation with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11) – David weathered storms. And he praised God through it all.
“I waited patiently for the Lord,
and he turned to me and heard
my cry for help.
He brought me up from a desolate pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and they will trust in the Lord.”
– Psalm 40:1-3
The Apostle Paul also went through a plethora of life torrents – even while being tossed about by nature’s rage (Acts 7-28). When he first enters the biblical scene, he’s mentioned casually in a setting that’s brutal, and where Paul is actually a type of major hurricane in the lives of believers in Christ. In the verses below, “hurricane Paul” (aka “Saul”) hit the Apostle Stephen.
“Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him.
And the witnesses laid down their garments at the
feet of a young man named Saul.” – Acts 7:58
“And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose
on that day a great persecution against the church in
Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the
regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” – Acts 8:1
After the stoning of Stephen, Paul’s resolve to go after believers “belonging to the Way” (Act 9:2) was strengthened. But hurricane Paul was calmed by the Light (Acts 9:3) and for three days Paul sat in a blanket of darkness (Acts 9:8-9). What went through his mind?
When adversity comes your way, what’s the first thing you tend to think? Something like, “Oh crap, what’s this now! or “Great, what’s next?! Or do you simply pray, “Lord…”
In the world today we have storms on the horizon that include wars, rumors of wars, increase in murders, political volatility, and so much more. But through every cloud that appears; every rain drop; all thunder and lightning…
“The LORD is in his holy temple,
the LORD–his throne is in heaven.
His eyes watch;
his gaze examines everyone.”
– Psalm 11:4