Last Thursday, Lori wrote a blog post titled Driving Into The Storm and it really meant a lot to me. If you haven't had a chance to read it, you'll probably want to read it before reading this post so that it makes sense.
i started this blog almost 4 years ago and f you've been following it (at least for awhile) you know that i drove right into a storm 3.5 years ago. i didn't know the amounts of downpours i'd experience, and i can't even begin to count the many days and nights that i felt left out in the cold, lonely rain. The track of my storm never shifted and there were so many times where i hung on with little strength. But, i can tell you that i always felt God's presence through the entire storm. He knew my heart better than anyone and He held it so gently in His hands.
Many times in our lives, we take the easy, sunny road in our lives. Paths we know will take us to happy places. But then there are other times when we are uncertain about our travels: times when the clouds look dark and scary. Situations when we have to hunker down and pray about what to do next. Circumstances when we wonder if life is going to dump a foot of rain on us. These are the critical times when we need to trust Jesus's heart when we can't see His hand. We have to rely on God's Holy Word and Jesus's promise that He has overcome any tribulation we will face in this world. Jesus told us these things so that we may experience His peace no matter how big the storm.
i never felt i took the easy road - the path i took allowed me to travel many dark, unknown places, but i was never afraid of the next step because i whole-heartedly believed that God was before me, in me, and behind me. i couldn't see where the hand of God was taking me, but i trusted Him to lead me safely through the storm. It was through the storm that i truly found out that God is the great I AM (as Cynthia mentions in this post about all the things God is)—i don't think i ever would have fully understood how great His love is without the storm. Even though the storm brought much damage and heartache to my life, the joy from the peace of God made it more than bearable.
My life today is living proof of how God can take someone through a storm with only minor bruises — He is truly a shelter in the storm. Under His wings i found refuge. He has restored my soul ... not even the toughest trials took me down. He has given me the kind of faith that can move mountains ... the kind of faith that can only come from weathering the storm.
In a storm? See one approaching in the distance? Do not retreat or try to move around it! Take the hand of God with a heart full of courage and trust and move forward believing in the joy, peace, love, and hope that God has waiting for you after the storm. There is purpose in what He's allowowing/allowed you to go through. It's not easy. In fact, it hurts ... this i know. But God will give you everything you need to get through the valley - this i promise you.
Father God, thank you for the strength, shelter, grace, and deep, uncondtional love that you provide during the stormy times in our life.