Severe weather warning!

Severe weather warning!

God likes to communicate to each one of us in very different ways. God often communicates to me when I am in the shower. I think it is because it is the one place where I can get complete quiet the majority of the time. I can’t answer the phone, text or email, or make out the song playing on the speakers in the background and I can feign deafness on account of the water and the glass partition should a child try and speak to me.

It is just God and I.

Recently, during one of my lengthy showers (my excuse is my alone time), I felt God preparing me for a storm. This wasn’t going to be a quick thunderstorm. No, it was going to be a hurricane type storm. I could see the storm system in the steam as clear as it would look on the CNN radar. It was a monster category 5. “Great,” I mumbled. “Isn’t my whole life a storm lately? What else could there be?”

Anyone who has been in or watched a hurricane knows that it isn’t a quick event. There are agonizing days of waiting, watching and preparing. And then, it hits. Slowly at first, then as it builds and comes on shore, the force is something to be reckoned with. It often feels like it may never stop. Then just as slowly as it started, the wind and the rain lighten up. Then gloriously, the sun shines again. Some survive the storm, others have damage and sadly, some perish.
So, God warned me of the coming storm. Not sure I was thankful for the warning, or perhaps it was the trial I was not thankful for, but nevertheless, I had been warned. Every day I checked in to see where the storm was headed. Was it still headed for me? What was its verocity? Was there anything I could do to prepare? Days lingered and I could still see the storm in the steam. There was nothing life changing happening, just a sense that all was not well.
Then, wham!

One day, God whispered, “You are in the eye of the storm and I promise you, my child, Jesus is on the other side.”

Of course, that set my heart in a slight panic. "What does that mean?" Death certainly wasn't imminent, I hoped. I love Jesus, but I wasn't sure I was prepared to meet Him just yet. “Could you at least tell me what the storm is?” “How can I be in the middle of the storm if I don’t even understand what is going on?” I cried out.
Radio silence.

Anxiety crept in. Fear crept in. Anger crept in. It was like walking on egg shells that day. I kept thinking that any minute, the hammer would drop.


Whew, I survived day one. Then the next day. And then the next.

By the fourth or fifth day, I was convinced that perhaps I should try and take cooler showers.

And then one day it hit me. All of my anxiety, fear and frustration about this storm were gone – but nothing had happened either way – things hadn’t gotten any better or any worse. However, what I noticed was my responses to the things that were going on were changing. I was clearly convinced that no matter what, God was in this storm with me and He had me here for a reason. He had even warned me of the coming storm – how awesome is He?

You see, I had been telling God for quite some time that I was sure all of my problems and trials had nothing to do with me. I mean, hadn’t I already worked everything out with God? For sure, everything going on had something to do with someone else in my life.

The neon sign was flashing, “Reality check – reality check!”

Our trials are training grounds. So many lessons can be learned during these times of adversity. How we respond really says a lot about us - our pride, our control, our emotions and our neediness. They also highlight how important God really is, or isn't, in our lives.

I am in the middle of doing a Bible study by James MacDonald, When Life is Hard. In one of the lessons, it asked the question, “How did this test strengthen your faith and prepare you for further testing?” My response was, “It is bringing me closer to the Lord. It has strengthened my foundation (the cracks I have mismanaged).” This trial turned it back on me.
In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus instructs us to be like the wise man who builds his house upon a solid rock (foundation) and to not be like the foolish man who builds his house on the sand. What happens when our foundation is solid, but we neglect our house? What happens when we allow the cracks to occur, when we fail to water and nurture it, when we fail to have it inspected? What happens when weather happens that is out of our control or when tree roots (whether ours or a neighbor’s) grow into the foundation? Even if our foundation is solid, it will not exist without blemish indefinitely.
A foundation is much like us. We can be firmly planted, but things will affect us. And much different than a foundation, we are living, created beings who must grow. And the only way to grow is to learn and experience.
I am still in the eye of the storm and some days are much worse than others. Yet, I can see Jesus on the other side. I do not know when the storm will pass and when the sun will shine, but I do know that it will end. I don’t know what the damage will be once the storm is over, but I do know that Jesus will be waiting there for me and He will help me pick up the pieces. I truly am joyful in the midst of the storm.

Isn’t this what God wants for all of us? He wants to be our Comforter and our Helper. If we could do everything on our own, there would have been no need for the Cross. If God didn’t love us, He wouldn’t take the time train us or teach us – just like if you didn’t love your child(ren) you wouldn’t take the time to train them or teach them. God loves us through all of it.

Are you in the middle of a storm? Are you heading into a storm? Have you just come through a storm? How is your foundation? Are there any repairs that need to be made? Prepare yourself.

“But He knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.” (Job 23:10)

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

1 Comment

Pat - February 16th, 2012 at 9:56pm

That is awsome wisdom and inseight.