Why all these storms?
Of all the seasons of life, those which are full of cloudy days or turmoil are often the least wanted. We as humans prefer to have lives that are free of worry or distress. Unfortunately, that is not often how life works.
The reality is that hard times do come and with them come feelings of hurt, fear, disappointment, hopelessness or grief. Sometimes we feel as if there will be no end, no reprieve, and no way out. At times, we wonder if we will be able to survive the storm.
We forget that storms make trees take deeper roots.
For many us, especially those of faith, it is within the storms of life that we grow stronger and gain a deeper faith. I have observed this with my father, who is a pastor and has endured, along with our whole family, much grief and hurt over the actions of some church members. God has used those months and even years of hardship to shape him more and more into the man He desires him to be. His faith has grown stronger, his determination has become firmer, and his prayer life has deepened.
How can this happen?
Scripture reminds us over and over again, from the beginning all the way to the end, that even in the midst of the most tumultuous of circumstances, we can still hope because ultimately, God is in control. Psalms 46:1-3 tells us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we won’t be afraid, though the earth changes, though the mountains are shaken into the heart of the seas; though its waters roar and are troubled, though the mountains tremble with their swelling” (WEB).
When we put our trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him as our “refuge and strength,” leaning on Him in times of trouble, He is present. And no matter what life throws our way, He is with us every step of the way whether the moments we face are more like the “valley of the shadow of death” (Psalms 23), or like the glorious heights of the mountain tops.
Placing our trust in the Lord is not simply something we should do in times of trial or pain. It is a posture that we must pursue in times of joy and happiness as well. The reason for that is when we make it our practice to honor the Lord and put our trust in Him, in the good times and the bad, our faith grows deeper and our roots become stronger; much like a healthy tree that is able to weather the storms.
Psalms 1:1-3 uses the descriptive imagery of a tree to describe a person who walks in the way of the Lord: “Blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand on the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in Yahweh’s law. On his law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that produces its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper” (WEB).
When we walk in the ways of the Lord and we delight ourselves in Him, pondering His Word continually, we develop a faith that is rooted in a lush place in which we gain the nutrients we need to survive, and even thrive. Even during all the crashing waves and heavy winds that may be bombarding our lives.
No matter what circumstance you may be going through, whether it is a time of good or of bad, remember that the Lord is your refuge. It is in trusting Him that you can get through any situation. And those nasty storms of life? The Lord uses them to shape you into the person He has in mind - one with deeper roots and strengthened faith.
*We’d like to thank Jessica Jones for working with us on this important topic and testifying with personal past experiences. I’m sure we all have grown in faith because of it!