Dear Friends

Storms are such a wonderful metaphor for the times of trial and chaos that we experience in life.  Watching a large storm steadily progress across the vast ocean or up along the coast speaks to the great power that is beyond anything mankind can withstand.  It is often sobering to think of our smallness and fragility compared to the magnitude of power and size of a large storm. 

There are times when life is going well but we can see the storm coming in the distance.  That gives us time to prepare for it, to shore up our defenses.  Other times storms come upon us suddenly or unexpectedly strengthen in intensity and we are tossed about in the grip of a power greater than our own.

Life storms seek to knock us over—mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Our lives are full of troubles, so at any moment we are probably either in a storm, just heading out of a storm or about to experience one. We are going to experience all kinds of rain and thunder. We will need to navigate floods and blizzards.  We will be forced to rebuild after wind and hail. No one is exempt. Both the righteous and the unrighteous are affected by storms. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could say that following Jesus meant we will never have to face any storms? I wish I could say that following Jesus means that the waters of life will always be calm. I wish I could say that following Jesus means life will be rosy and all of our days will be sweet.  But I can’t.  Think about the disciples who followed Jesus, they rowed right into storms with Jesus on board! The disciples discovered, as many of us have also discovered, that we can be both in the center of God’s will, and still in a storm.  Following Jesus doesn’t offer immunity from troubles. What it does give is the opportunity to experience Him in the midst of trouble.

Storms affect us all. Life comes with troubles. However, when we follow Jesus and build a foundation with His Word, He joins us in our troubles so we need not go through them alone.  Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We will have tribulation, Jesus says. That isn’t negotiable. But in the midst of every storm, we can find the courage that comes from knowing the one who has overcome the world, who can calm the storm.

God has a purpose for storms. He doesn’t always reveal it when we want Him to. In some cases, we won’t discover what it is until we get to Heaven. But He has promised us that if we love Him, He will use the good, the bad and the ugly winds for our good, His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.

Only by Grace!

Pastor Mike