Acknowledging the storm

2-24-10 iPhone photo

There are times when we fall so far, we look up and all we see are the cliff walls on either side stretching so high they blot out the light. Sometimes the storm rages around so fiercely, we cannot even recall what warmth is. The storm threatens to drown out any memory of what it was like to have the sun shine on our faces.

Last night, I sat down and wrote an email to a good friend. I unloaded on him. I wrote out everything that had been going wrong in the last few months. Actually, the last few years haven’t been great. But the last few months specifically (and this last week) have been the hardest we’ve ever faced. If it can go wrong, it has. And now, my brother-in-law being sick has helped us hit what I pray is rock bottom.

I can’t pretend we have it all together. The truth is, we are powerless. I can’t heal. I can’t magically generate money. I can’t make projects happen if they get cancelled. I can’t even console my family that well. So I acknowledge that. I shout at God. I say “I don’t understand this! I don’t like this! I want you to fix this! I need you!” I shout it through bitter tears.

Whatever he chooses to do, though, I will not pretend everything is fine. I will acknowledge the storm. Why? Because this storm is in the hand of the Lord. It is centered over my family for a season because that is exactly where God wants it. I’m not one who believes God is hands-off when it comes to suffering. I believe the Bible teaches that everything is part of his ultimate plan. That includes catastrophic suffering. I do not believe the Devil runs freely and does whatever he wants. The only things the Devil does, are things God allows him to. Even Satan is a pawn in the ultimate plan for our King’s glorification.

So if our present suffering is truly in God’s control and part of his ultimate will, I believe it dishonors him to pretend it isn’t so bad. I acknowledge things are terrible. I acknowledge that I am powerless in all of it. And in that a need is created in me for Christ. A hunger that nothing else will satisfy. My prayer is that we suffer well.

He gives me warmth even when the sun cannot penetrate the storm.

I am in his hands.

Comments

  1. alice Branch says

    My son, Allan, and I were discussing God’s healing hand and our lack of spiritual power, and he sent me your blog. (There was a Catholic priest counting the offering and said, “No longer can we say, ‘Silver and gold have I none.” and St. Augustine (or was it Luther) responded, “Nor can we say ‘Rise up and walk.”)
    My instinct is to wrap motherly arms around you and say, “This is too hard…so unfair.” Jon Courson (awesome Bible teacher) says to do so is to claim that God isn’t loving, God will not rescue; for us to be ungrateful. Jon has had some real tragedies in his life.
    In my life, I would’ve denied that I was a fearful person, but I’ve found that a large part of my stress was fearing what might happen. God has held his hand on some horrible things that could have been. If I focus on things to be thankful for and look intently for God’s hand at work, my stress lessens.
    I was just reading about Daniel’s vision and I had been mulling over the act of fasting. (Are we trying to impress God, buy favors, pet our self-righteousness?) Daniel had been fasting (from tasty food, basically) and praying (pressing in) for 21 days and he was 85 years old. Of course you know the spiritual battle that had been taking place.
    I think we’ve been a part of a spiritual battle over our youngest son. I want to blow a whistle and say, “Time out! I need a break.” I think the Lord wants us to die to things of this world, to empty our hearts of everything but Him.
    Life is truely a battle. This is not heaven.
    Well, I’ve rambled on. I will pray for you and your struggles. I hope you look back one day that thank the Lord for this special time.
    Love, alice

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