I have a wonderful quote written down in my Bible, right inside the cover where I see it every morning when I open God's word for my devotion time.
"Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage but calms the child."
I have no idea who said this or even where I copied it from, but it struck me in such a way that I knew I wanted to remember it. Because in this life, we will encounter storms. Jesus said it best in John 16:33:
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Trouble. Storms. Whatever you want to call it, you can be assured it will find you. Whether it be relationship problems, financial problems, parenting problems, physical problems, and on and on. Life is filled with trouble. With storms. What you do when those storms come up, however, will determine whether you survive them or not.
The woman in Luke 8:43 had a bleeding issue for twelve long years. She'd tried everything and every doctor, to no avail. I would imagine she wanted to simply give up on life. I can imagine her depression over her poor health. She may have even been shunned by friends and family, fearing they too might be cursed if they interacted with her. But one day Jesus came to town. This woman made a decision to seek his help. Possibly a last ditch effort, but still, an effort on her part. She made her way to Jesus, boldly touched his cloak, and was healed. What if she'd just stayed home feeling sorry for herself?
Blind Bartimaeus sat in the same place day after day, begging. Can you imagine the monotony of such a life? The hopelessness? One day he heard a commotion. Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. Bartimaeus made a decision. He would call out to this Jesus, hoping all the stories he'd heard about the miracles were true. They were true, of course, and he was healed. What if Bart had stayed silent and simply let Jesus pass by? (Mark 10)
Health, marriage, jobs, finances, raising kids. I've seen a storm or two in each of these areas. Some days you simply want to give up. Some days it's just too hard to fight, to struggle. But other days, by the grace of God, you persevere. You cry out, "Lord, help!" and He does. Like the beacon of hope from a lighthouse in the midst of a fierce gale, He is there, leading you to safety. You take one step at a time through the storm, through the trouble, and suddenly, you're on the other side looking back. You survived! It's an amazing feeling.
Could I have survived the storm on my own? Doubtful. I needed help from the God who said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5) He is the One who gave me peace when we went through a rough time in our marriage. He is the One who gave me assurance that we would be provided for when my husband lost his job. He is the One who put joy in my heart despite learning my Mom had Alzheimer's. Lots of other storms, lots of other times when God saw me through.
Why does God let the storm rage sometimes? I can't say for sure, but I know that in the midst of my storms, I've learned valuable lessons. Lessons about God, about trust, about faith. I bet the woman with the bleeding issue and Blind Bartimaeus would agree.
As with any earthly storm, like a hurricane or tornado, they do pass. They do come to an end. If you're in the middle of a storm, take heart. Jesus has overcome every storm imaginable. Just trust Him!
Hang in there, friend! I'd love to pray for you and share your burden, so feel free to send me a prayer request at MichelleShocklee@MichelleShocklee dot com or leave a comment here.