As the plane took off in Evansville, the skies were clear blue with cotton clouds in the skies. It was absolutely beautiful! I could not help but think of how great the Lord is, how He would be mindful of me, so small! Only about 5-6 hours before I would be home! After a brief layover, I boarded my final flight home. The captain came on and said that we would need to re-route due to severe storms in the areas. But we did not see any of it…just gorgeous, blue skies. As we neared our destination and began descending, it got quite shaky. After several attempts the captain announced that we would need to circle for 30 minutes, until the storm let up. As we were circling, the Lord laid these thoughts on my mind about the storms in life we encounter.
First, we should not be surprised by them.
1 Peter 4:12 says,
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:”
Trials are going to come our way. John 16:33 says, “In the world ye shall have tribulation…” We can’t avoid it. We will face storms in this life as we journey and follow the Lord. At different times, our “Pilot” may decide to take us a different way.
Sometimes we fly above it.
For a large portion of our flight, we were flying completely above the storms. It was breathtakingly beautiful! The man sitting beside me said that it looked like clear skies! We could not see the storms. We could not feel them. We were completely unaffected by them. We just soared above them, with the sun shining through, oblivious to the damage being caused below us.
How often does God completely take us above the storms? So many times we have no clue even about what could have happened because God just took us above it so it would not affect us! Sometimes He allows us to get a glimpse of what He protected us from, but I think we really won’t know half of them until we get to heaven! Those times He just allows us to see HIM and His glory – not the storms below us. What an awesome experience that is!
Sometimes we are taken another way.
When we got ready to take off on one of the flights, the captain said we would be taking another route because of the storms. How often does God do that for us?
We get in our mind what God’s will is for us, we get plans of what we should do…and God completely closes the door and takes us another way! It can be frustrating in the moment, and we may not understand what He is doing, but it is always amazing afterwards to see His plan!
I can’t share all the times this has happened, but one time in particular comes to mind. My husband and I were newly weds, maybe 1 year. We started looking at buying a house near the church we were serving in. The Lord would not give us peace, and we did not understand why. A few months later He called us to be missionaries to Ukraine! What a burden it would have been to need to sell a house before leaving for the field! God knew, even though we did not.
Sometimes we circle and wait.
As we got ready to land, our plane began to descend several times. Our captain announced that we would need to circle the city for about 30 minutes until the storm let up so we could land. We could not really see the storm, except for a little turbulence as we tried to descend. It was definitely an inconvenience as everyone wanted to get to their destination. But the captain knew it was safer to wait.
Oh! How difficult it is to WAIT on the Lord! To just wait for Him to tell us to move, to go ahead! When we feel like God wants us to do something, we just want to jump right into it! But sometimes, this can cause so many troubles for ourselves!
Whenever I am tempted to push my husband to move faster into doing something, I am reminded of Sarah and Abraham. She knew it was God’s will to have a son…but God wasn’t giving her one fast enough, so she convinced Abraham to take her handmade and have a son through her. But that wasn’t God’s will! She caused SO much heartache for herself and hardship for her family to this day because she would not wait on the Lord!
Waiting on the Lord sometimes feels like we’re going to be 90 having a baby, but may we learn to just wait on Him!
Sometimes we must go through the storm to reach our destination.
As we were circling the city, waiting to land, I thought of the times we did fly through the storm. It was a rough flight. Everyone would be tense. When we safely landed, everyone would cheer and clap for the captain getting us there safely!
God doesn’t always help us avoid the storms. Sometimes we must go through the storms so that God’s glory can be seen. I think of Daniel as he was thrown into the lion’s den, or Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. If Daniel had not gone to the lion’s den, he wouldn’t have seen God close the lion’s mouths -and God received glory in front of the king! If Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had not gone through the furnace, JESUS would not have been seen of all there!
Going through the storm is not easy. But when God chooses to bring us through the storm, it is so that HE receives glory in our lives! And as He safely guides us through that storm, we cannot help but give Him all the praise and glory for how he led us through!
No matter what part of the storm you are in, I pray that these thoughts the Lord brought to my mind as we circled above the storm are a blessing and encouragement to you.
I love the end of the verse in John 16:33,
“…but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
No matter what you are facing, HE IS IN CONTROL!