daily devotional

Few people eagerly anticipate the storms of life. Storm chasers are psycho! The storms come, we hunker down, we hold our breath, we wish it away, and then when the storm passes we breathe again. We all would prefer a storm free life. A perfect life where all things go perfectly as planned. But honey, those two words don’t go together: perfect – life.

Yesterday a BIG Life girl shared with me how she had a mini-meltdown over spilled pancake batter and an epic mess. She said she was in the middle of her pancake crisis, then heard her own words coming out of her mouth and realized those two words don’t go together: pancake – crisis. No, there’s no such thing.

It’s like perfect & life. Nope. They don’t match.

This is life and life is filled with storms. It’s the lost job, the bad news, the health scare, the uncertain future, the hard days, the long nights, the worry, the stress, the hardship. You’re either in a storm, just came out of a storm, or a storm is coming. Face it, embrace it and girl get better in the storm!

There was a time when all 3 of our kids were teens at home and it was constant chaos. It was a rare and celebrated occasion when all 3 were in a good mood at the same time and on a single day no one was causing trouble. My husband and I would literally recognize it as a miraculous moment of stillness, knowing the next storm would be coming soon, that’s just the reality of raising 3 teens. Now that they’re grown and they freely share their confession sessions with us, we realize those moments of calm weren’t perfection after all, they had just upped their game and gotten sneaky.

If you’re waiting for the storm free time to enjoy your life, you’re missing the majority of your life. If you’re waiting for the way to be clear before trying again, you’re missing the fact that Jesus can always be found IN the storm.

It is the rain in the storm that makes things grow. The storm is where you grow. This is where you get better. What a gift to be in life’s gym where you are being stretched and strengthened so you can come out better. Understanding this, doesn’t the storm represent God’s faith in you? Doesn’t it show he believes in you so he allows you to be pushed so you discover what he put in you?

Maybe this storm hasn’t been sent to break you, it’s here to make you. Make you see who you were really created to be. Make you understand the potential God has placed within you. Make you tap into the strength only God can offer. Make you rely on Jesus, because in the storm that’s all you’ve got.

Or maybe this storm isn’t about turning your life upside down. I mean it sure seems like it. It seems like everything is being ruined in this mess, but what if instead it’s clearing the path. The very storm bearing down on you at this moment is making a way for you, clearing the obstacles, removing what once blocked you. Yes, it will be a real mess in the process, but soon you will see this was for your benefit.

There’s one place you really don’t want to be in a storm … on a boat. It’s the worst possible scenario to be on a boat in high winds and wild waves. That’s worse than a trailer house in an open field when the tornado comes tearing through. But that’s right where Jesus was when he taught us about peace in the storm.

In Matthew chapter 8 we read about Jesus and the disciples in a small boat out on the water. Verse 24-27 says, “Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Notice the storm was sudden and furious. Maybe that’s the storm you’re in right now, it was sudden and furious. Out of nowhere everything just went to crap. You weren’t prepared and now you’re panicked. Hey sister, Jesus is right here with you in this storm. And … he’s not freaking out.

Jesus was asleep. Asleep as the waves were coming in over the boat. Asleep as they were about to sink. Not asleep because he didn’t care. Not asleep because he wasn’t aware. Asleep because he was at peace. At peace because he is the master of the winds and waves.

Sometimes it seems like Jesus is sleeping in my storm. Like yo, Jesus, where you at because this is only getting worse. Does he not know, or does he just not care? But actually, the truth is he cares so much that he knows this storm will make you better. This storm will teach you more than the calm ever could. It’s here in the chaos, in the upheaval, in the destruction where his power will be on full display. It’s here you will understand like never before just how much he cares, and because of his care, you’ll come out of this better. But first, he’s going to let you go through it.

Jesus, give us your peace in this storm. Give us your perspective when things aren’t going as we planned. Give us your strength as we navigate our way through this storm.

Jesus responded to the disciples’ fearful freak out by calling out their lack of faith. I want to be faithful. I want to freak out less. I don’t want my fear to cause me to lose sight of my Jesus.

If I can just remember Jesus is in complete control, I can weather the storm. I can keep getting up, even when it’s hard, and I can get better in this. I can understand the storm was never here to break me, it was to make me. He has allowed this so I can become more like who I was created to be. He is clearing the path in this storm. His power is here. His peace is offered. His provision is enough.

No, life’s not perfect. The storms are continual, but I’m no longer waiting for the storm to pass before I make my move. I’m trusting there’s a purpose in this and I’m here to see Jesus work. I’m in this boat with him and this time I’m not bailing!

If your storm needs to be calmed, he will calm it. Otherwise, he will calm you and make a way through this. And through it you will grow, you will get better, and you will see Jesus in the boat.

Nope, your life is not perfect right now, and this is exactly where you’re supposed to be. This is where Jesus works best. He brought you here to show you who you can become. The storm is making you better. The way is being cleared. What a beautiful purpose you will one day realize behind it all!