“Jesus, wake up! An unexpected storm just blindsided me!”

The disciples were frantic as the unexpected, life-threatening storm blew in. And when they turned to Jesus, he was fast asleep – seemingly unconcerned with their fate. But the Master and Creator of everything awoke, quickly calmed the storm, and then asked his disciples, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26). The storm was no surprise to him, yet he used it to motivate a deeper level of trust from his followers.

What do you do when the storms of life cross your path? When unexpected troubles, heartbreak, and emergencies blow their fury, how do you deal with them? Do you crumble and allow them to destroy your good nature, your peaceful frame of mind, and your long-held beliefs? Or do you stumble through them in your own strength while hoping for relief? Have you ever questioned, “Why is this happening to me? Why now? What is the purpose for this tragedy? God, why did you allow this to happen?”

Storms come to every person. Terminal illness, tragic accidents, unexpected job loss, personal betrayal, divorce, financial ruin, premature death of loved ones. They are all part of the human experience. Some storms, like brief thunderstorms, run their course quickly. Others, like hurricanes, last much longer. Even after they pass, their lingering effects leave a changed landscape. Devastating losses have a way of stamping us with the imprints of heartbreak and regret. Our lives are never the same. Sometimes, that is for the best. Other times, we long for things to return to normal, even while recognizing things will never be the same.

Eventually, you will encounter your storm. How you survive it, and possibly even thrive after it passes, is your choice. You can linger in the storm’s aftermath or you can, with God’s help, rise up, determine its cause or purpose, and become better from the experience. I encourage you to develop and exercise enough faith in God’s sovereignty to approach every storm as Jesus did – rest while the storm rages.

As you experience the swaying deck of your frightening storm, grab your deck pillow, snuggle up so close to Jesus that you can hear his heartbeat, and rest. Trust him with your personal storm. Though he may not respond immediately, he will take you safely through to the other side.

Published in Divine Moments, 2014

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