When Dorothy Gale got caught in a storm she made some pretty bad choices. First, she missed out on the storm shelter. Then, she ran inside for safety yet neglected to shelter in a safe place. Clearly she was never taught to duck and cover. However, when in the middle of her storm she was transported to a technicolor world on the other side of the rainbow where she encountered singing munchkins and witches of both the wicked and good kind. She had help from three unexpected yet loyal friends, and of course she had the comfort of her furry companion who, if you think about it, caused most of the problems of the movie in the first place. But when we go through storms in our lives, it's more like a scene from Twister. We have cows flying past our heads as we strap ourselves to a pipe in the ground while we shelter inside of a random barn filled with deadly farm equipment. In each movie the characters are working through a problem, despite the storm or because of it. One is trying to work through damages caused by the storm and get back home and the other is trying to learn more about the storm in order to help others prepare for the next storm to hit. How do we handle the storms that come into our lives? Do we hunker down ducking and covering, fearing the storm a little or even a lot as we wait for it to pass? Do we let it blow through our lives bending under the strength of it's wind, or do we stand firm against it dancing in the rain and praising our Lord; knowing that He is in control and that He is our safe place of shelter? What if we used the storm to hunker down in our faith? If we sheltered in God's word studying the creator of the heavens, even when we feel as though the heavens have opened and are pouring down on top of our heads, when we seek Him and cry out to Him; God draws near to us and we find that still small voice that brings us peace in the midst of the storm.
Psalm 107:23-30 tells of a group that went to sea in ships and were caught in a huge storm. It says that they were melting away in anguish and all of their skill was useless. When they cried out to the Lord in their trouble he brought them out of their distress. Their skill was useless. Did you catch that part? Noting that they were capable of doing could save them. It was only when they sought after God and cried out to Him that they were saved. This is not the only instance in the Bible that talks about a storm being calmed. Matthew 8:23-27 describes a similar scene of a boat being thrown about on the sea by a storm, only this time Jesus was on board. When the disciples woke Jesus (who else would have so much peace as to sleep through a violent storm at sea?), He asked them why they were afraid and accused them of having little faith. He then rebuked the winds and spoke peace over the waters calming the sea. The other men on board were amazed and glory was brought to God. I think that we can take a few lessons from these two stories and apply them to the storms that try to disrupt our lives. First, we have to acknowledge that no skill of our own can get us through it. We must rely on God and not on ourselves. We also have to seek God during the storm. There is no way that we can make it through without Him, therefore we need to seek Him by studying His word and approaching His throne in prayer and petition. Once He has brought us safely to shore we need to make sure that all of the glory points to Him, our one and only savior.
This week, Amanda discusses what she is learning in the midst of the storms that are surrounding her. As the waters rise and the storm surges she is drawing near to God as she prays through the Psalms. She has learned that prayer involves repentance, lamenting and praise and discusses what she has learned about true lamenting; that it always includes hope for the future. She may still be waiting for God to calm her storm but she is already giving Him glory in the small victories that are leading up to her big win when He rebukes the winds and speaks peace over the waters of her life. Join them as they discuss storms, lamenting, and dancing in the rain.
You can listen to this weeks podcast on Stitcher, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or on our website at www.thesendhelppodcast.com/podcast
Songs mentioned in this weeks podcast are :
Good and Loved by Travis Greene & Steffany Gretzinger
Another in the Fire by Hillsong United