Well, it's official. Hurricane season is upon us. It’s been relatively quiet so far, but from what I've been hearing, this could be a bad year for storms. Temperatures are warmer than normal, which makes it ideal for storm formation and sustainability. Fortunately, in Connecticut, we don't get many storms that actually hit us. Most often, they turn out to sea, absent Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene, of course. For the most part, we simply track the storm, buy our obligatory milk and bread, and pray that we will stay safe.
Sound familiar? This also sounds very much like the Christian prayer life. We are constantly faced with news of impending hurricanes. From something suspicious in our health to concerns over the well being of our children. We recognize that at any moment, the storm can organize and hit us straight on.
And, that's when our prayer game steps up. We track the storm, make the obligatory preparations, and pray with fervency that the storm doesn’t hit us. And like most hurricanes, the storm turns out to sea. As a result, our faith in God gets stronger.
But, what if the hurricane doesn't turn out to sea? What if the storm hits you straight on? What will your faith look like then?
I am going to be completely transparent with you for a moment in an area that I have been relatively private. Two years ago, my hurricane season began. And this time, the storm did not go out to sea. Up until this point, my faith had only been tested in the hypothetical. What I mean by that is I had encountered my fair share of impending storms, but God had spared me from getting hit straight on, until then.
Two years ago, I went to bed seemingly healthy and woke up sick. Two years ago, I learned that my random inflammation issues were anything but random, which resulted in a diagnosis that I wasn't prepared to hear. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints causing chronic pain and is potentially debilitating. I now realize how easy it is to trust God when things are going picture perfect. It is quite another thing to trust Him when your world doesn’t make sense.
I know that I am not alone in this. Storms sometimes make landfall. They don't always go out to sea. What then? Will your faith in God crumble? Will you turn away from Him? Or, will you still trust Him when the rains and the winds are pounding overhead?
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. – Isaiah 43:2
Ladies, God never promised us that we wouldn't walk through the fire. But, He did promise that He would always see us through and never leave our side. I guarantee you that if you remain in Him during the storm, you will come out stronger and more powerful than you did going in.
Two years ago was a very frightening time in my life. But, I can tell you that my faith in God never waivered, it just increased exponentially, something I am eternally grateful for. By trusting in the Father's plan, I have become stronger in faith than I could have ever hoped for. I have learned to trust Him no matter what.
My storm is not over. This story is not finished. I am still waiting for complete healing, as I am confident God will do. But until then, I lean in to Him for strength. I’d much rather be in the middle of a hurricane with Jesus by my side, than be in the calm all by myself.
When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation. – Proverbs 10:25