There is often a calm and stillness before the storm hits. In the minutes before a storm arrives, there is often a calm quiet and stillness. The wind disappears as trees will stand as soldiers on duty- not moving. Sometimes there will be a sweet scent of approaching rain. In life, a storm will often follow a period of happy contentment as difficulties and conflict will seem non-existent. All of life seems to put off a sweet scent of favor.
Storms can build slowly or arrive suddenly. Storms can build over a period of hours or days when you can prepare and plan while others seem to knock the breath right out of you with their random suddenness. The same is true with the storms in our life. Some we "see" coming and do our best to prepare- maybe a relational conflict or issues with a child. Other conflicts seem to shatter our peaceful lives within a heartbeat- a job loss, an unfaithful spouse, a doctor's visit gone horribly wrong... Both are painful and equally devastating.
The ripples after a storm can extend well beyond those directly affected. Storms will always have the most impact on those directly affected, but the ripples flow out encircling countless others in the waves of sorrow and grief. After a storm, businesses who are impacted are unable to help their customers. Family members may have to put off plans and duties to rush to the aid of loved ones in need. Life rarely continues as "normal" for a community as a whole. The same is true of emotional storms... Often those in the center of the storm do not see the effect it is having on others as they are too encompassed with their own damage and pain. Yet, the ripples do have impact on lives....the closer you are to the storm, the more ripples you will experience.
The "choice" of who is impacted can seem so random. One house could sustain such heavy damage that repairs are impossible and it will need to be torn down while the house next door may only have broken limbs off of trees. Whole towns can be affected while other communities had no damage or impact. Life struggles, too, can seem so random. One family may be devastated while close friends may never seem to face the harsh winds of trial or heartache. However, our Father is never "random" and the harsh storms we face always have a divine purpose to draw us to Him. Painful?- yes. without purpose?- Never.
Dealing with the aftermath of a storm can take much longer than the storm itself lasted. Repairs to homes, vehicles and such can take days upon days. Depending on the severity of the storm, months or years may even be required to fully restore things. Emotional damage after a life storm may take great time from which to recover. Unfortunately, you can not put a "rush" order on healing. Seek after Him and rest in His timetable and healing process for you.
It's always best to be in the storm shelter when the storm hits. Being safe and secure in the storm shelter when a storm hits makes a huge difference in the kind of aftermath you will face. Oh, isn't this true in life as well? With those life trials come, we desperately need to run to the shelter of the Most High God!
"Thou art my rock and my fortress; for thy name's sake lead me and guide me." Psalm 31:3 RSV
"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55: 22 RSV
"Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." Psalm 62:8 RSV
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee." Isaiah 26:3 KJV
"To know God as He really is- in His essential nature and character- is to arrive at a citadel of peace that circumstances may storm, but can never capture." Catherine Marshall
1. Are you being hit with a "storm" right now? Are you in the ripples of a storm that has hit someone close to you? What impact are you struggling with currently?
2. What could the Father be seeking and/or teaching you through this season?
3. What is preventing you from running to the shelter of the Most High God? Anger? Hurt? Discouragement? Try confessing that to Him!