What is the worst storm you have ever been through? Was it the loss of a loved one, a job failure, financial trouble, physical illness, mental illness, a failed marriage or an addiction? The truth is, none of us are exempt from the storms that life throws at us. Even the disciples, with Jesus by their side, encountered various storms (Acts 7:45–60 and 2 Corinthians 11:25).
The hardest part about walking through these storms is feeling like God doesn’t care. Feeling as though he is taking a backseat and watching as your problems take control of your life. As grief, fear, anger and sadness take over, we desperately cry out to God, pleading with him to take this burden from us, and it seems as though he is nowhere near.
Life isn’t always fair, and it often feels like we walk out of one storm and right into another. After all, when it rains, it pours. Sure, we can watch the weather forecast and avoid some of these storms with wisdom, foresight and prayer, but that doesn’t always protect us from the unforeseen storm coming our way. The first letter of Peter warns Christians that we will face many kinds of suffering and that our faith will be tested, so it should be no surprise that storms might be coming our way. If anyone can relate, Jesus can. Not even Christ himself was exempt from the pain and suffering that this world has to offer. He knew exactly what he was doing as he was beaten and tormented while nailed to the cross, yet he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
It is easy to ask this question in the midst of our suffering, but what we need to remember is that we don’t have the foresight to see the plan that God has for us. In the midst of the pain and suffering, we are unable to see the beauty of what God has in store. Time and time again, when I encounter a storm, I find myself looking back in awe of the beauty that comes from the ashes. Redemption, healing, closeness, reconciliation. I’ve experienced all of this and more after some of the biggest storms of my life, yet in the midst of it, I find myself repeating the same patterns of fear and doubt as I feel the weight of the storm upon me. For so long, my fear has been so much bigger than my faith, but through each storm, I am learning that he really is in control. This is all in his plan. I am learning to give my fear, anxiety, sorrow and pain to him because he truly does care even when we feel alone and abandoned (1 Peter 5:7).
There is no doubt that the storms will come, so when the clouds start rolling in and the wind begins to pick up and the rain comes crashing down upon us, hold out for that rainbow. Hold onto his promises and trust that his plan is far greater than ours could ever be and that without the rain, we wouldn’t appreciate the sun.