Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you! Deuteronomy 31:6
I get today's verse from another blogger who blogged today about some hard times that his family has gone through in the last couple of years. He tells a touching story of how sometimes when you are going through hard times, the hard times can be used by God for good, even when they seem so bad. He tells the story of a farmer who keeps having things go wrong, only to be blessed later on because of his misfortune.
A few years later, his son was working in the hay loft of the barn. He slipped and fell to the ground floor, breaking his leg badly. When his neighbors heard, they came to see how his son was doing saying, “How will you harvest the crop this year without your son’s help? What will you do?” The farmer once again calmly replied, “Could be good, could be bad.”
The farmer worked hard that year to harvest the crop, harder then he ever had. He worked from early in the morning to late in the evening while his son lay mending. During that time, the civil war started. All of the older boys in the surrounding country side were called to duty to fight, his son however was not due to his broken leg. Many of those boys never returned home.
Go to his blog and read the whole story, it is very good.
Sometimes God knows our situations better than even we do, and he'll sometimes allow a storm in our life to occur because it will strengthen our faith, or cause us to remember to keep our focus on him. As in the story above sometimes a storm will even keep us from other misfortunes down the road.
In college I was headed down the wrong path, drinking and partying my way to a life that wasn't going to end well. God allowed some storms to come into my life at that time, specifically – allowing me to be in trouble with local law enforcement for underage drinking. Not once. Not twice. But three times. At the time I thought that getting caught for drinking was just about the worst thing that could happen. Now I realize that God allowing that storm in my life allowed me to get my life back on track, stop drinking excessively and move home and rededicate my life to Christ. Without that storm I doubt that things would be as good as they are today.
Jesus never promised that our lives as believers would be easy, in fact he said that we would often be persecuted for our faith. He did promise however, that if we call on him like I did, he will save us. In Matthew 14 the disciples are in the middle of a lake, a storm is upon them (troubles of life metaphor anyone?), and they are afraid for their lives. In the midst of the storm Jesus comes to them,
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it's you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!“31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
It is so important that we keep our focus on Him. Sometimes we WILL go through storms. Whether they be storms of correction because we're headed down the wrong path (like mine), or whether they're storms of perfection – helping us to perfect our faith in him, he will be with us if we place our faith in him. I'll end this with a verse from a song by Scott Krippane called “Sometimes He Calms The Storm“. It has a nice reminder pertinent to my message today:
Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
Have a blessed day!