Storms

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What storm has blown into your life lately?  

Are you—or is someone you love—suffering from the trauma of plans that have been washed away, relationships that have been uprooted, or security that has been devastated?

Rather than being destroyed by this tempest, what if you allowed the disturbance to increase your capacity for rapid growth and fulfilling your destiny in God?

 Instead of suffering for years after the comprehensive wreckage that a vicious whirlwind in life inflicts, what if you allowed that same storm to clear out unnecessary undergrowth, weeds, and blockages in your life?

The sobering truth is that no storm leaves you the way it found you. 

You will either grow stronger due to lessons learned in the storm or you will become weaker due to the ferocious winds you have encountered. 

After digging deeply into the Word of God, I believe that there is a way—a triumphant way—to encounter the fierce gales of life and then exit those tempests with strength, resilience, and joy. 

There is a definitive way to walk through the most devastating of circumstances and emerge with grace and hope, empowered for the future. 

There is a way to be StormProof!

My new book, “StormProof: Weathering the Tough Times in Life” was released by Whitaker House Publishers this week. 

In today’s blog, I wanted to give you a taste of one of the storm stories that I wrote about in StormProof”.

Do you have an umbrella handy?  Do you have your rain boots on?  Let’s go!

But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.(Matthew 14:24)

Oh, how I love this little boat! I wish I could have just one piece of splintered wood from this vessel that was rocked to and fro by the “contrary”winds of nature. 

Perhaps this was the boat Peter had used as a fisherman before the Lord called him with the words “Follow Me”.

Perhaps, before reaching the shore where the multitude had gathered, this little boat had soaked up the tears Jesus had cried after hearing about the death of His beloved cousin, who had “made a way in the wilderness” for Him. 

Jesus might even have taught from this little boat, sitting in it just off the shoreline so the boisterous crowds could hear His voice. 

Now, this little vessel—which, for some of the disciples, represented their former occupation of fishermen—is about to encounter a storm that has been remembered over the course of two thousand years.

There are three significant facts to observe from Matthew 14:24 as we begin to view the makings of another miracle:

1.   The boat was a long distance from land.

2.   The boat was in the midst of a contrary wind.

3. The boat was being battered by the waves.

Due to circumstances in your life, you may be experiencing conditions similar to those this little wooden boat did at that moment in history. 

Perhaps you feel you are in the midst of a driving and contrary wind, your life has run off course, and you are not where you think you should be.  

Now, you have been left battered by these negative events. 

You might even be experiencing the tremendous strain of a life torn apart by relentless trials. 

You wonder if anyone understands how far away from stability and security you seem to have wandered.

 You may question if the Lord even knows where you are and if He is aware of what kind of storm you are encountering!

 You might feel certain that if something does not stop the storm soon, you will be fighting for your very existence. 

You are crying out, even now, “What if things never change? What if this storm never relents!”

And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.– Matthew 14:25

The fourth watch of the night is between three and six in the morning. The disciples had been battling this vicious storm for perhaps as long as twelve hours and their options for safe passage to their destination had run out. 

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You may be in the “same boat”: you may be exhausted from having fought the effects of the winds and waves in your life beyond what seems humanly possible.

The last time the disciples had encountered a storm of this magnitude, Jesus had been in the boat with them, but this time, they were on their own—or so it seemed.

When Jesus was on the mountain communing with the Father, maybe He was praying for this group of a dozen disciples whom He had chosen. 

Perhaps He was hoping that these men who insisted on walking by sight and not by faith had learned a lesson or two by now. 

Maybe He had been hoping they would remember the words He had spoken the last time they had been caught in the middle of the sea by a tumultuous storm:

Peace, be still!” (Mark 4:39)

Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26)

But that day, during this new storm, I don’t think these disciples—who had seen food supernaturally multiplied, people miraculously healed, and other storms calmed—were recalling those miracles. 

Instead, I suspect they may have been asking questions like these:

“What if we drown?”

“What if our boat splits apart?”

“Where is Jesus? Why didn’t He come with us!”

During the storms in our lives, we will ask either faith-filled questions or fearful, pitiful ones. 

Storms have a tendency to go to the heart of our issues and pull up either doubt and disappointment or faith and hope.

And remember, these disciples were in the direct path of this particular storm simply because they had obeyed Jesus. They were there by divine direction. The Lord had placed them in the path of this immense, killer storm. 

There is no storm this side of heaven that is a surprise to the One who made the winds and the waters.

Why would a good and loving Father place His dearly loved children in such a storm?  

That is actually an easy question to answer.

First, He would place them in hurricane-like conditions in order to perform a miracle! 

When God, the all-wise Father, allows one of His own to encounter a serious atmospheric plunge, it is often to bring glory to His name.

If you are in a storm today, consider the idea that maybe, just maybe, you are right where God wants you to be. 

I believe that His purpose for allowing a storm is also to remind His children that life is about more than the temporal things we often become absorbed in. 

Life, in its fullness, is about our absolute dependence upon Him.

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Second, He would place His children in a storm to increase their trust in, and dependence upon, Him—the One who rules the winds and the waves.

So, don’t let the direction of your circumstantial winds intimidate you, because you may be in exactly the right place at exactly the right time! 

Sometimes, it is obedience to the heart and words of Christ that will usher us into the path of a storm. Just because events and people are coming against you does not necessarily mean you are doing—or have done—something wrong. 

Don’t ever walk away from obeying the Lord just because the winds are contrary. 

If the loving Father of creation has allowed you to experience a storm, He is also going to show you His eternal and matchless glory. 

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!  

            ***** If you’d like to order a copy of my new book, “StormProof” and read the rest of Noah’s story, you can do so at CBD.com, Amazon.com or at my website, carolmcleodministries.com. Or, you can go to your local Christian bookstore and request that they order a copy for you!

Carol McLeodComment