Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Storms of Life.

Today we got hit with a large and lengthy series of storms.  Kids were supposed to be launching water rockets and swimming, but because of the thunder and lightning, they could not. 

I hate storms. Hate storms. As in, I am afraid of storms. Not as afraid as I once was, but still afraid. If this storm would have hit a year ago, I would have gone into major panic attack mode and fallen apart... But I didn't. Yes, my level of anxiety was up quite a bit, but it wasn't to the point where I had to go into another room and pull myself together. I was fine just continuing on and helping my kids make their bead animals. 

The literal storms of life are hard, but I think that the metaphorical ones may perhaps be the most difficult. But they are not as challenging as they once were. 

My grandfather currently has bone cancer and was not given a good prognosis. My aunt is in the hospital right now for a study because her memory is not functioning as it should be. I am struggling to not idolize someone who has mentored me and loved me and cared for me through a lot, which is especially difficult this week because she is here with me, but as my director. This evening, I found out that a friend of mine's father passed away. 

Life has them. 
And they exhaust me. 

But here's the thing-- my God is greater than any storm that life can throw at me. In Matthew 8, Jesus is sleeping on a pillow in a boat when the storm comes. And when he wakes and sees the disciples frightened, he simply calms the storm. He tells it to be still and it is. 

God cannot always calm my storms for me. He cannot heal my grandfather and allow him to live. He cannot change my Aunt's memory problems overnight. He cannot simply make me stop idolizing my friend. And he cannot bring my friend's father back from the dead. 

But even though God cannot calm these storms, He can provide refuge for me during them. Isaiah 25:4 says that God is shelter from the storm. 

My grandfather is dying, but God is with me in the pain (Psalm 34:18). 
My aunt's memory is not working as it should and she might lose her job, but God promises to work all things for the good of those who love Him. 
I cannot, on my own, stop idolizing E, but God is my strength and my portion when my heart and my flesh fail to love Him. 
I cannot pick up and drive to my friend right now, but God sends a Comforter to her as the Holy Spirit. 

God calms my storms, and when He can't, He gives me refuge from them. 

I am no longer afraid of storms. 
My God is greater.