The storm clouds gather and the anticipated storm finally arrives with thunder and lightning that generally accompanies such weather. The weather warning are issued and those that hear and are able to take heed have possibly been protected during the storm. After the storm has passed, there may have been possible damage in places while others have been spared. There is an eerie calm after the storm and the next day often dawns with sunshine and a peaceful atmosphere.
We should always be thankful for the providential protection of the Lord during the severity of a natural storm. If we have suffered damage to property, we ask for grace to pick up the pieces and move forward with a dynamic trust in the Lord as was the case of Job who said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Job endured a severe storm that exhibited not nature’s thunder and lightning but perhaps Job had rather been struck dead by lightning than receive continuing devastating news that culminated with the death of all his ten children. He was able to say by the grace of God, “And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)
The disciples were in a storm in the midst of the sea and the waves were raging so the ship was seemingly to be lost but Jesus was asleep in the hinder part of the ship. They awoke him and asked, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” This is the way that Jesus responded: “And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39). Only Jesus was able to calm the wind by saying or rather commanding, “Peace be still.” There was a GREAT storm and then came a GREAT calm because there was a GREAT Saviour on board the ship. If the disciples had remembered the words of Jesus before they embarked on this journey, they could have remained calm in the midst of the storm because Jesus had said, “… Let us pass over unto the other side.” (Mark 4:35). The Lord has promised us safe passage but He didn’t say the passage would not be difficult. We walk by faith and not by sight.
We appreciate the light more when we have been in darkness for an extended period of time. We appreciate joy more if we have been ready to despair knowing that the scripture says, “…Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5). After the dark stormy clouds have disappeared, the sun shines once again on God’s natural creation and spiritual creation. We might sing the song, “Master, O why do the clouds hang low? why does the sun no loner glow? why is my going so staid and slow, over the sand of time?” We know that beyond the clouds the sun continues to shine and we know that the SON continues to shine with sufficient grace.
The apostle Paul went through many a storm in his service to the Lord. He was in perils continually, even at the hands of his own countrymen but he left this on record for the followers of Christ so they could remain calm in the midst of the storm. Paul said, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;” (II Cor. 4:8-9).
We should not be surprised when a stormy trial begins to try our faith because just as the weather warnings are issued for the coming storm so does God issue warnings to His people for the coming storm. We are blessed are cursed depending upon how we respond to what God has said. ” Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” (Jer. 17:5). Notice the contrast now when trust is channeled in the right direction. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” (Jer. 17:7).
We take refuge in a storm shelter if one is available in the midst of a severe natural storm. There is always shelter available for the people of God in the midst of the storms that comes in their lives. Isaiah said, ” Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” (Isa. 32:1-2). David also confirmed the truth of the shelter that cannot fail. “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” (Prov. 18:10). “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.” (Psalm 61:2-3).
We aren’t to think it strange concerning the fiery trial that is to try us as though something strange has happened but to take shelter and rejoice as Peter tells us. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (I Pet. 4:12-13). God bless us one and all to remain calm in the midst of the storm.–April 4, 2014–Elder Larry Wise