Every storm runs out of rain.
The greater your storm, the brighter the rainbow.
If you want to see sunshine, you have to weather the storm.
It's always darkest before the dawn.
There's plenty of sayings we hear people say about storms.
Sometimes, we can see the storm coming, sometimes it storms out of nowhere.
Like today. I left work in Peoria and it was sunny, didn't even think to check the radar because ya know, why do that when there's sun shining?
As I was driving, the sky kept looking eerier and eerier by the mile, the clouds growing darker and lower. I took a picture and sent it to our group message, then sent another message a few minutes later half jokingly asking if there were any tornado warnings out because it was looking pretty scary, only to have Christen respond, "Yes, in Stark County. Go to Brimfield. Or Kickapoo." ...Except I take the back route, so I was in the wide-open middle of nowhere with only fields for cover as the wind picked up, the car started blowing, and the rain poured down. All I could do was drive (super slow with my hazards on) but hey, no tornado came, I made it home, and it eventually came to a light sprinkle.
Storms come and go, some lasting longer than others, some causing damage, others just bringing lots of rain, but whatever the result, it can change nothing or it can change everything.
This morning-- corn standing tall, roads clear.
Tonight-- corn lying flat, a huge tree fallen, water nearly covered the road in one section.
Just a matter of hours, and just as so with life.
Things catch us by surprise-- we wake up one morning and go through our daily routine, only to have something change it completely a few hours later. Something we hadn't expected, something that rocked us, wrecked us, had us feeling like we were that corn flat on the field after a storm.
We don't feel equipped, capable, or even able to stand back up. The wind knocked us over and we're down for the count as we're reminded that we aren't the ones in control because as we read in Proverbs 16, "Go ahead and make all the plans you want, but it’s the Lord who will ultimately direct your steps."
What I've been learning this first half of 2018 is this-- there are a lot of storms in all of our lives-- some of higher magnitudes than others, some trivial, some huge, some happening individually and in a lot of the cases, all at once because we all have heard.. "When it rains, it pours."
These storms can break us, shape us, mold us, change us, but as Romans 8:28 says, He will ultimately work everything together for your good-- no matter how hopeless it seems.
If I'm honest, I've had a hard time believing that this year, probably more than I'd like to admit. I have days where I full out believe it with every ounce in me, waking up all fired up and expectant for what God is doing, only to be followed by the times when I feel like my faith could be smaller than a mustard seed.
Yes, I've absolutely clung to that verse, repeating it time and time again. I believe completely that God is good, but when you're walking through those storms, I think we can all attest that it's hard to see the good because all we could see at that moment was rain.
It's hard for our minds to not jump ahead- to wonder how it'll all turn out, to try and guess what good can come out of a situation. We can think about it, worry about it, stress about it and try to plan it out in our own power, but that's not where God wants us. All we have is right now, and that's been the beauty of this year-- learning to let that rain wash over me and trust that instead of it drenching me, it's Him filling, equipping, and preparing me, reminding me to be completely present in just this very moment and leave the rest up to Him.
I'm no pro-- it's definitely a daily reminder, sometimes a minute by minute reminder that I can't let my mind get wrapped up in worry, doubt, insecurity, and fear, but instead giving all the love, joy, listening ears, helping hands I can exactly where I'm at and enjoying each and every step as He leads me.
We can't be in tomorrow, we can't go back to yesterday, all we have is this very moment. And in this moment, God wants us to remember not to worry. Not to fear. Not to doubt. Not to grow anxious. He has it all figured out. Our days were written before we were even a thought. What He has planned will come to pass in His timing.
Yes, the storms will come, and sometimes they will take us down and shake us around, but if we keep on driving, keep putting one foot in front of the other, the rains will slow, and eventually, the rainbow will appear and the sun will shine.
We'll look back and see that God's hand was all over it and through that season, God never left or forsake us. [[Deuteronomy 31:8- The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”]] He was our windshield wipers wiping the rain from our windows.
He was there, carrying us through when we thought we couldn't take another step. He was searching our hearts when we didn't know what to pray anymore. He was pursuing us even when we wanted to give up. He leaves the 99 for the one-- and that's what He does for us, every single time. He won't give up on us. He won't let us fall. We might get knocked down for awhile- maybe a day, maybe a month, maybe a year, but no matter the length of time, He's there to pick us back up and won't stop chasing after us until He knows we're safe and sound.