Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Weathering the Storms

Photo of Speedway in Ashland from a friend's facebook
Most of the day yesterday, my thoughts were once again on the rain... and what rain there was! There was flash flooding in places I've never seen flooded. I frequently thought of those who may not be in places safe from the storm. It can be scary to think about how dangerous storms can be and how helpless we can become. The weather remains one of those things humans really have no control over, and it can be a powerful thing.

There are many storms in life that are dangerous and scary. Some are weather related, some are physical, some are spiritual.... but there are many storms. The storms will involve factors beyond our control that leave us feeling helpless. They are going to come. Though it is impossible to be prepared for everything, being prepared can certainly help. All throughout school, we had drills for the possibility of tornadoes or fires; to help prepare us for possible disasters. We can prepare for disasters by developing emergency plans and purchasing insurance plans to cover homes, health, vehicles, and belongings, and even financial support in the event of the death of a loved one. Insurance in these instances may help to reduce some fear, but it doesn't necessarily make the fear go away entirely. 

Even with the planning involved in preparing for the storms of life, there will still be difficulties. Fear seems to be one of satan's most commonly used tools. We fear the "what if's," and the losses (whether materially or of life). Even the best health insurance won't keep us from fearing a car accident, or home owner's insurance from fearing a fire. Going through storms is typically unpleasant. We don't know the outcome, or how unpleasant the experience will become. If we watch the waters rise, we're going to wonder how far they'll come and how deep they'll run- what will be covered and destroyed. 

There will always be storms.We can try to prepare for them physically as much as possible, but we also need to prepare spiritually. Knowing the storms are going to come, we have to remember who does have power over the storms.

Matthew 8:23-27

Jesus Calms the Storm
 23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 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.
 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

He may not always calm the storms as they rage (sometimes we have have to wait them out) but we can certainly take comfort in Him, who has power over the storms. We know our Heavenly Father has a plan for us, and we can trust Him. God IS Love, and Love is not self-seeking. We can rest assured knowing that our Heavenly Father truly has our best interests in mind. He wants good things for us because He loves us... but because He sees the whole picture when we don't, He knows that sometimes we have to weather the storm to see the rainbow on the other side. The journey is a necessary part of the outcome, it's part of what makes us mature and complete. 

James 1:2-5 (New International Version)

Trials and Temptations
 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

So, we've been through quite the storm over the past several months. We've experienced the what-if's and the pain of loss. We watched the waters rise, but they are slowly returning. We will always feel the effects of this storm, it has left a deeper impact than we ever could have expected. I don't think there is any possible way we could have prepared for this storm entirely, but by God's grace, we have survived somehow. We will never be the same, but we have survived.

Today, after the major storms we experienced yesterday, the sky was blue, and the clouds were white and fluffy. Today, after the storm we've endured for months, we brought our sweet baby boy home from the NICU. It was unexpected today, but we are so thankful and blessed.

We're looking forward to getting settled into our family routines and continuing to move forward. We'll still face many storms in this life, and i'm sure we'll have the normal new mommy and daddy what-if's and concerns, but i think there's a difference. After all we've been through to this point, I know we'll make it, even when it gets tough. We know the one who has power over the storms. 


Anonymous said...

i just wanted to let you know you are one of the strongest people i have ever had the pleasure of gettin to know... i read your post almost everyday and i am just so amazed at no matter how bad things seem to get at times you always keep your faith and walk out of your trials stronger than what your started... i hope god continues to bless you and your family and you keep giving people hope in knowing that as long as we have jesus in our lives we have nothing to worry about... thank you so much..... shawnda.. this will post anonymous but its the only way i can get it to work... sorry:(

Erin said...

Amen, sistah! In southern Ohio, the water is so high like the picture in Ashland. Sending many prayers for all those effected by the flooding, tornadoes, and droughts. And I was SO happy to see that Paxton got to go home today :-) I need to and visit! But only after everyone is settled ;-)
Love and hugs,

Ruthie said...

Keri & Aaron, Praise God you got to take your little man home today! Yeahhhhhhhh! I can tell you that the picture of little Paxton in his car seat is beautiful. He is growning and so handsome. Keri I am so thankful that you still have time left before you return to work to enjoy your little miracle.God bless the three of you always. Love ya bunches.

kimberlykayross said...

I am so glad that Paxton got to come home today! I've been praying for him and his Mommy and Daddy. What a sweet family...enjoy every minute!