Our boat rose and fell over hundreds of feet with each swell the ocean boasted during a storm on the South Pacific Ocean. Even though our submarine cruised hundreds of feet below the storm, the underwater swells controlled us like a kid in a playful bath time. I stood watch in the torpedo room and from time to time would feel weightless. Thoughts of panic occasionally entered my mind. I was helpless and could do nothing. All I did was trust that the boat was safe at the hands of my captain.
Purpose of a storm
I wrote about enduring a storm in a previous post about marriage. But here, I want to talk about why we have storms to begin with. Have you ever been in a storm that lasted forever? While sometimes it appears that storms last forever, they alway come to an end. But why have storms to begin with?
Much like the hurricane I endured while standing watch on our U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine, we have no control over the storm itself. Regardless of our preparation or warning, the storm will come and serve its purpose. Enough about literal storms, what is the purpose of the figurative storms in our life?
Much like the violent weather in nature, the challenges in our lives are given to us as a gift. Yes, I said a storm is a gift. Storms were designed to uproot and tear out the doubt, fear, and strongholds in our life that prevent us from being better men and women of God. I know this is not an easy thing to hear. I struggle with this concept with every sight of rain. But that doesn’t make it less true.
So if the storms are inevitable and beneficial, what are we supposed to do about them? I am glad you asked.
Know your place
This is the most important part of enduring a storm. First, we must remember we didn’t create or cause the storm. Nor were we designed to stop the storm altogether. We were designed to endure and allow. What I mean by that is if we are going through a hard time, we aren’t supposed to figure out how to stop the problem, but to ache at finding out how we are supposed to respond.
Let me give you an example. As you may know, my oldest daughter has Down syndrome. She is now 18 years old and while we do have great days, we weather many storms and I know we will weather many more storms in the future. In my early father-hood days the question of “why me” was often fresh on my lips. It wasn’t until I learned to ask “what do I do” that I figured out how she can be a blessing to my life.
When she doesn’t communicate with us, instead of getting frustrated with her inabilities, I search for ways to communicate with her. She stretches my ability to get a point across to another person because I know her struggles are real. I can’t begin to tell you the character traits in my life that are heightened because of the storms I weathered throughout the years. Her disability is not a storm that I can stop or fix, but I can become a better person because of it.
Enjoy the rain
Storms are beautiful. I grew up mostly in Texas and one of my favorite things to do was to watch the massive storms roll in. There is something refreshing about the light breeze that carries the smell of rain that fills the soul. While most storms appear destructive, remember that it brings a refreshing rain
Are you going through a difficult time and have reached out to prayer warriors to help you through it? Well, guess what? That storm caused you to influence fellow Christians to increase their prayer life with God. Sounds a little weird I know, but I actually find it easier to communicate with God when I am praying for someone else’s struggles. I guess I feel a little bit less selfish.
Bottom line is to remember these two things. First, you are not alone in your storm and you were not designed to stop the storm. You were designed to discover your place in the storm. Secondly, during the storm, hold on to hope because God knows what he is doing. He didn’t bring the storm to destroy you, but to enhance your life.
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