Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Stormy Weather

The past few weeks have produced some strong spring thunderstorms where I live. In other parts of the country, a fourth nor-easter of the month has hit. The weather seems to be more volatile than ever.

Actually, we have always had severe weather to contend with. It appears to be more severe and more frequent because of our access to instant news reports. And, the effect of social media by posting and reposting weather reports makes it seem worse that it really is.

When we encounter storms, and when we encounter the storms of life, we get concerned, nervous, and afraid. That is our natural reaction to the disruption of our normal lives. How we respond to those storms is a great indicator of what we are trusting in. Storms not only demonstrate our faith, but they also increase our faith.

Psalm 46:1-3 says: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

The psalmist is describing a great storm, one that could be weather related or a storm of life. He mentions trouble, fear, losing control (the earth give way), disruption of the normal (the mountains fall), ongoing problems (waters roar and foam), and foundations shaking (mountains quake).

One of the things that strikes me about this psalm (I encourage you to read all of it) is that it makes the assumption that storms will come, problems will arise, normal life will be disrupted. None of us can escape from storms.

Another thing that strikes me about this psalm is the lack of panic in the words and expression of the writer. There is a strong, secure “tone” that is expressed, even when describing the storms he is encountering.

Twice, in verses 7 and 11, the psalmist says these words: The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. He is assuring not only the readers of who his trust is placed in, but he is also reminding himself who his trust is placed in: The Lord.

Bottom line: Be ready for storms: They will come. Trust in the Lord before, after, and during the storm. Assure yourself of God’s help. (I memorized this psalm as a 16 year old and it is one of my personal go-to Scriptures.)

By the way, verse 10, Be still, and know that I am God is not a mandate for quiet worship. It is God telling us that amid storms, problems, difficulties, and obstacles, we need to stop fretting, worrying, and stressing. We are to rather be still (quiet, relaxed, calm) and trust God to protect us and take care of us

He has, He does, and He will. Lead Well!

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