This Sunday concluded a very powerful series of sermons on dealing with storms in our lives. I walked away from the concluding service today with an intense affirmation of God’s presence and a desire to listen to more. It was so powerful, I didn’t want the service to end. Even though I feel like a mac truck ran over me, I was determined to go to church today to listen and to just absorb. Yes, stress took its final toll and I started feeling awful at work on Friday, by Saturday I was in the bed most of the day. Now I’m in the stage of, as long as I have advil in me and I stay rather quiet, I feel halfway decent. Even with this crud, I was able to glean wise lessons from today.
It was affirmed again and again, the storm will END. Even though the rain, the lightening, the thunder, the howling winds have pelted down on us for the past two years, it will eventually end. Even though I may not “see” it, God is forever faithful and He has never left us. In this trial turned into the storm of my life, I have learned some valuable lessons, both good and bad, and I will come out from under this storm. I’ve learned that crying won’t kill me, hurt me or turn me into a wimp. Instead, my tears have cleansed me, relieved unbelievable pressure, and have even prompted strangers to hand over tissues to me in complete kindness. I’ve also learned in this journey around the world and back again, I can not put my trust into anyone or anything except God Himself. I may be tempted to or want to, but the bottom line is that I can only trust my Creator.
I’ve also learned you just keep going whether you want to or not. Some days it has taken every bit of determination just to get up, get dressed and go to work. A cup of coffee can be miracle in a mug. Putting on makeup is a chore, but it really does help a defeated disposition. Folding laundry in the quietness can be soothing and at least, something productive is accomplished. Keeping the dishes washed and the counters clean helps to bring a sense of sanity when my world has been turned upside down. A very wise spiritual mentor told me long ago when I was discouraged, “You get dressed, You make your bed and You do your dishes, God will take care of the rest.”.
This journey has brought humility in so many ways. Society wants us to be totally self-sufficient and to believe in the “American Dream”. When your back’s against the wall and you have nowhere to turn, you realize those lies. It is deeply humbling to have let go of pride and be willing to accept gifts from others. I can’t even begin to relate our gratefulness to others that have stepped in to help with encouragement, with gift cards and with hugs at just the right time. God always provides, even though it may not be in the way we envisioned.
When I get to the other side of this storm and stand in the wreckage, and the new beginnings I’m sure more lessons will be revealed. For now, I’m still twirling and whirling in the eye of the storm and trying to catch my breath between landings. A storm never hits you from just one angle. it totally encompasses you. Until it stops completely, I am following the advice from our pastor this morning: “Be faithful and keep doing good.” No profound eight step process to survive a storm, just keep it simple….and remember who walked on the water.