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Faith and the Blessing of Turmoil

I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down and wiped our tears away,
Stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say Amen…and it’s still raining…

As the thunder rolls,
I barely hear You whisper through the rain, “I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls,
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.

It’s easy to praise God when the sun is shining and everything is bright and beautiful. It’s a much more difficult thing to do when a dark storm blows in and it’s raining so hard you can’t see two feet in front of you. What do you do when it seems as though God is standing back while everything around is falling to pieces? How do you praise a God that doesn’t seem to care anymore? When it seems you’ve been abandoned, how do you keep going on?

Well, I’ll tell you something…I don’t know, I’m still figuring it out myself.  ;)

What I understand so far, though, is that there are lessons to learn in the midst of the storm, lessons you cannot learn when the sun is shining.  The one I seem to be learning is “where does your trust lay?”  For example, I could say “I know trust, I trust you Lord! See, I’ll close my eyes and follow where you lead!” But the second I misstep, my eyes will pop open and there’s the path clear as day in front of me.  Trust isn’t necessary if I can already do it on my own.

In a storm though, one can’t rely on one’s eyes because the wind is whipping and the rain stings the face…plus it’s dark.  But, one has to rely on something else as they go.  In my case, I do believe I have to slow down and listen….but that’s tricky as well because the wind can be very loud and make you think the thing you’re listening to is coming from a different direction. The frustration of pushing through a relentless and seemingly impenetrable wall of darkness and wet. Did I mention how cold it is here? No sunlight can make its way through those clouds, nuh-uh. So here we are, drenched to the skin, cold and shivering, can’t see any way that looks right, and we’re hearing things. It feels like it will never end. We are lost in turmoil.

There is, however, a blessing in turmoil:  it shows one where the problem is.  Kind of like physical pain, it’s unpleasant, but without it we’d have a much more difficult time finding the source of infection.

So, do I really trust in God? Or is it a hoped for job that I trust in? Once that job appears we can finally do all the things we’ve wanted to do, like…go to Disney World, or landscape the yard finally, or even buy some other property and build our own dream house!  But…now that I think of it, that all sounds really quite superficial…and it’s pretty well known that  God and “superficial” don’t mix too well.

What if there is no job? Do I turn and curse God shouting,”YOU DIDN’T GIVE ME WHAT I WANTED!” or do I sink into the dark recesses of myself and say “Why did I go through all of this? For nothing?!?” or maybe just an “I give up” will suffice.  Or can I look to God and say, in spite of my circumstances, what Job (who lost EVERYTHING) said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15) and really believe it? I don’t know why we’re going through the things we are, I don’t understand why this one thing seems to be so impassable, but I have faith that God has not abandoned us. That’s what faith is, believing without seeing, walking headlong into the rain, one step after another.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” (Psalm 23:4)

The “shadow of death”, apparently not actual death, just the shadow of it, and shadows can’t hurt anyone.  Sure they can loom frighteningly in the distance and scare the crap out of you, but they can’t really touch you.  Then, there is the rest of the passage:

“…I will fear not, You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4)

Not I feel You are with me, not I see You are with me…just “You ARE with me”, and if God is with me, who can be against me? (Romans 8:31)

If God is with you, who can be against you? And He IS with you.  And because of that, we keep walking…one step at a time, one day at a time.  It is a fact of nature that no storm lasts forever. :)

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