(Word of warning: This is a very fragmented blog today as I write down my thoughts without any real concrete answers and no worries of the writing. Feel free to comment to me and let me know your thoughts!)
It is very easy for us to speak and theorize about faith, but God often casts us into crucibles to try our gold, and to separate it from the dross and alloy. Oh, happy are we if the hurricanes that ripple life's unquiet sea have the effect of making Jesus more precious. Better the storm with Christ than smooth waters without him." (Madcuff)
This was the devotion for yesterday from "Streams in the Desert." I had to think through that last line as I was reading last night and spending some time trying to quiet my heart from the day. During the actual day while the hurricane was hitting did not cause anxiety. I rather enjoyed the day of watching the winds and rain. We lost power and (after adjusting our minds to no technology) we enjoyed each other and had a good time. We even let the kids play outside for a while when there was no electrical storm and the winds were calmer! (Don't judge me -what's a little tropical storm in the grand scheme of things?) While the actual storm was hitting, my heart was calm - I was even able to take a nap!
However, the night before was a restless night for me as I lay in bed and repeatedly checked outside. Whenever I heard the wind even a little I jumped and wondered about heading to the basement. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep.
It turns out the thing that I anticipated - and worried about - was way off the mark.
That is often the case in my life. I was telling Shawn last night that I am tired of living my life like the tree that fell so easily in our backyard. Weak roots that gave way in the rain and wind. Easily swayed and tipped. I continually come back to the idea of being steadfast. Yet for me I see myself being swayed and tipped not by the actual wind, but by the worry of what may happen. When I am in the situation, I can believe, but my mind takes me places that are filled with doubt, worry, and fear before hand. The "I could never" s and "There's no way"s take over and my imagination becomes my worst enemy. I start to live as though those things I wonder about and imagine are the actual truth instead of the real things that are happening around me.
I realized as I went through the storm yesterday that I do believe God is present and with me during the storms of life. While the winds howled around I was calm. I had peace. I laughed and enjoyed and prayed. I want to be like my children - playing joyfully, trusting in my heavenly father as the rains beat down and the winds blow. Yet I want that to be who I am before the storm hits, too. I don't want to live my life in dread of the next thing to happen - because there will be a next thing in this broken world.
So that is my prayer...to know Jesus as being even more precious to me even before the storm. To believe and live as though I believe that even if those storms happen, it is better to have those storms with him than a calm without him.