Damaged Goods Contest Submission by Author, Nate Stevens
Storms come to every person; no one is immune to tragedy. Terminal illness, tragic accidents, unexpected job loss, personal betrayal, divorce, financial ruin, premature death—they are all part of this wonderful thing called life. Some, like brief thunderstorms, run their course quickly. Others, like hurricanes, last much longer. Even after storms 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 realizing things will never be the same.
Some storms are the direct consequence or punishment for our poor choices. At other times, God providentially permits storms for reasons we may or may not know. In some cases, storms prepare us for the future plans God has for us. Occasionally, God allows some storms to serve as warning signs to others or even as perpetual proof of His grace. Overall, storms reveal and fulfill God’s sovereign power over everything and everyone. No matter the reason, He is in control and can be trusted with your storm.
As with any firestorm or thunderstorm, the fierce destruction clears the way for new growth. The raging wild fire that purges the forest of the dried, dead leaves and undergrowth also promotes the landscape where new growth springs forth. The darkest thunderstorm that crashes across the sky also produces life-giving rain and the rainbow of promise. Each storm holds the potential for transformation.
Eventually, you will encounter your own personal 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 get up, determine its cause or purpose, and become better from the experience. I encourage you to develop and exercise enough faith in the sovereign God to approach every storm in your life as Jesus did—resting on the boat’s deck while riding out the storm.
As you experience the swaying deck of your frightening storm, grab your deck pillow, snuggle up so close to Jesus that you can hear and feel His heartbeat. There in His intimate closeness, rest in His love and trust His sovereign control. Trust Him with your personal storm. Although He may not respond immediately or even as you expect, He WILL take you safely through to the other side.
Excerpted from his book “Deck Time with Jesus” (awaiting publisher)
Written 2010 – 2017