When I was a little girl, one of our family’s favorite ways to spend a lazy, sunny Saturday afternoon consisted of driving to a nearby lake, renting a rowboat and doing some serious fishing. Mom sat contentedly taking in the scene, and my little sister and I dangled our hands in the water as Dad rowed us across the lake.
One such afternoon, Dad decided to let Mom do a bit of the rowing. She gamely switched seats, awkwardly grabbed the oars and began to row. My sister and I looked at each other as the boat took a rather circular path over the water. Dad called out instructions, but in spite of her best efforts Mom managed to row us right onto a large rock sticking out of the water. My little sister, eyes filled with terror, stood up and announced, “I’m getting out of here!”
Don’t we often feel that way when we’re in the middle of a frightening situation? When the storms of life come, and they come to all of us, our first thought is to find a way out.
When the storms come, God uses them to bring us closer to Him and to make us more like Jesus.Some are inevitable, some come to test our faith and sometimes we are in need of discipline. We cannot make it through the storms of life in our own strength. We must learn to surrender control to the One who loves us and holds all things in His hands. He has promised to work all things together for good. Our part is to surrender to His will and walk in obedience.
Other times there may come to us a storm of someone else’s making - their actions causing them, and us, great grief and pain. We want desperately to fix the situation - to be the one who calms their storm and make things right. We cannot do what only God can do. He alone can change the heart. In this too, we learn to let Him have control.
When we submit to God’s will an amazing thing happens. We experience the inexplicable peace He has promised. We free Him to work in miraculous ways in our life and in the lives of those we love, and we draw ever closer to Him.
“Love divine has seen and counted
Every tear It caused to fall,
And a storm which Love appointed
Was Its choicest give of all.” *
*from a talk by Elizabeth Elliot