Please join me in welcoming my dear friend, Jeanette, who is my guest blogger this week. In her post, “Storm,” she shares words of wisdom about those inevitable storms of life which we all face, and how to best respond. She blogs at, Grace on Fire.
It was dark outside in the late evening. My daughter and I were working in a back room of the house. When we finished and both got up to leave, I turned off the light… suddenly washing the room in pitch black. As I walked out of the darkened room, I heard her fast footsteps behind me and turned to see her rushing towards me, obviously in distress. Through frantic tears, she said, “I don’t like being in the dark alone.” I leaned down to her and softly asked, “What made you think you were alone?” She responded, “Because you walked out and left me there in the dark.” I was surprised because I assumed she would follow me out. Sometimes when we feel alone in darkness, it’s because He is leading the way out. He expects us to follow… that we will stay with Him, step by step, as He walks us out of the storm into the peace of His light and refuge.
But sometimes we don’t. It’s like we freeze in the middle of the storm. Storms persuasively invite us to be afraid and suddenly the storm captures all of our attention, holding us hostage. We find a strange sort of chaotic, fear-based comfort in the storm… maybe because we’re afraid that any direction we move in could actually be worse. And because we’re so focused on the storm, we take our eyes off of Him. It’s in this moment that we begin to feel very alone, consumed by the storm around us and forsaken by Him. We wonder why He left us and when He’s coming back. How can such a loving and devoted God be so absent during such a frightening storm? Our fear is a signal that we’ve submitted to the storm. But the Bible tells us,
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a Spirit of power.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
It may feel like the sound of that power is being drowned out by the sounds of our fear, but the Spirit of power within us doesn’t diminish in the dark. When a storm invites us to focus on what we see and feel, we can find comfort in knowing that whatever we see raging around us is temporary (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Just because we don’t see Him doesn’t mean He’s not with us. Just because we think He left us doesn’t mean He did. In my times of darkness, I find comfort in this:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We will always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body (2 Corinthians 4:7-10).
The feelings of abandonment and isolation… the sense that I’ve been separated from Him by the massive storm that demands my attention and emotions… all are deception. Truth: We carry *within us* His death so that His life will shine from us. We are *never* alone in the darkness, *never* abandoned in the storm, and *never* forsaken in the pain or uncertainty. It’s in the midst of our storm, our trial, our suffering, and our fear, we need to focus our eyes on the Rock, and follow Him out of the storm.
In the storm we find uncertainty, in Him we find assurance.
In the storm, we find fear, in Him we find refuge.
In the storm we find despair, in Him we find unending hope.
In the storm we find defeat, in Him we find victory.
Father, help us find the courage and strength to submit to You and follow You out of the darkness. Help us to keep our eyes on You and not the storms that rage around us.