The reasons that I didn’t panic in the physical storm that happened a few days ago are some of the same reasons that we shouldn’t panic when trouble comes in our lives. What are those reasons? Oh I’m glad you (kinda sorta not really) asked, you inquisitive human, you!
- I have shelter. I wasn’t personally caught in the storm. I wasn’t standing outside…by myself…without an umbrella or anything like that. I was surrounded by my apartment. I was covered. Safe and secure. The rain didn’t even touch me. It didn’t do anything to me, but make me want to rest…because I was covered. You’re covered too. Psalm 46 says that God is our refuge. A ‘refuge’ is something that provides shelter. So through every storm, every temptation, and every setback, I want you to rest. I want don’t want you to act like you’re out in 65 mph winds; I want you to sit down, like you’re on the couch at the house. I want you to breath, trust God, and rest on His promise, because He’s a shelter that withstands the toughest of storms. I’ve seen homes fail. I’ve seen apartments diminsh. Debris could’ve flown through a window, and my apartment would’ve been vulnerable to the storm. However, nothing gets through God. He cannot be broken. He cannot be bruised. Nothing breaks His barrier. If anything gets beyond His shelter, it’s because He wanted to work it for His glory. He let it in to help you win. I’ve never seen God leave His people out in the cold. The winds have gotten pretty high in my life. I’ve definitely cried enough tears that could stand as a storm on their own…but I’ve never been caught without God as my shelter. (the saints would say “I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread).
- I’ve been through storms before. The day I got my car (which was also my first day driving by myself)….there was a terrible storm that seemingly followed my mom & me home. The day I graduated from college, our mass graduation was canceled….because a tornado (paired with a mini hurricane) was making its way through Austin. My birthday that year? Yet another tornado paired with yet another mini hurricane. So when the storm came through recently, I wasn’t phased because not only was I protected, but I’ve been through storms before. This wasn’t my first rodeo, boo! I’ve got a history of victory. I’ve seen some destructive stuff! Actually, I haven’t just seen it, I’ve been covered through it (in more ways than one). Remember the graduation storm? I remember driving around the next day, and thinking “the storm did all of this?”. Roofs were destroyed, buildings were falling apart, some places were almost unrecognizable. Yet, you could barely tell that anything had happened near my little student apartment. I’m telling you this, because I’m sure that the same is true for you. You’ve been through things before. You’ve been covered from destruction before, and God didn’t bring you through that to leave you in this. David was confident in his battle with Goliath because he’d already defeated a lion & a bear. Don’t let the enemy & his negative thoughts confuse you; you’ve got your fair share of lions & bears too. Don’t forget about the victories of your past because Goliath is looking down on you. You’ve beaten that, and through Him, you will surely beat this. The storm is no match for the Savior.
- This too shall pass. A final reason that we shouldn’t panic in storms is because….we’re built to outlast them. I’ve only been around for a short period of time (a couple of decades and some change), but….I’ve never seen a storm that lasted…indefinitely. I’ve had a few consecutive rainy days. I’ve been through some things that felt like they could (and had enough audacity to) last forever. Yet, eventually, they’ve all faded. Psalm 30 says that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Your storm, your tears, your rough times, your loneliness, your pain, your struggle may endure for a night. It may be a long night too. It may not be the best night that you’ve had in your entire life…but joy is coming in the morning. Peace is coming in the morning. Restoration? Coming in the morning. Freedom? Coming in the morning, and once morning comes, the what happened last night won’t even matter as much. While sitting in the storm, I internally laughed, because I knew that less than 24 hours later, I’d look outside….and it wouldn’t even look like a storm had been anywhere near me. Sure enough, the next day, it was about 70 degrees. The sun was out. It was a beautiful day. I believe that the same is true for you. I believe that when you come out of this, you won’t look like what you’ve been through. The only remnant of your storm, and the only sign that you’ve been through this at all, will be your testimony.
So often, we concentrate more on the storm than we do the fact that we’re covered, or the fact that we’ve been through storms before, or that the storm will pass. We empower the storm instead of empowering our faith. I want to challenge you to do something different, and focus on your Protector than you do your pain. Change the story that you tell yourself. Turn your super sad “woe is me” into a “greater is He”, and watch everything in and around you change. I know the storm is loud, but I also know that faith defies volume. I know it hurts, but I also know that His stripes are the source of your healing. Don’t believe the storm; believe Him. You are covered. You’ve had battles before. You will outlast this storm. Nothing around you can defeat the King of Kings that’s in you. Stand still…rest…and see the salvation of our God. He always has, and always will…come through for you.
Background Music: You Keep Me - Travis Greene