I snuck down early this morning for a quick snack, and as I peered out through the kitchen window, I noticed how wet the garden was. It must have just finished raining, and the clouds looked like they held more water.
As I went back upstairs, the song PRAISE YOU IN THE STORM came to mind. I didn’t have my earphones to listen to it, so I read the lyrics instead.
The words were weighty, so I prayed for grace, peradventure there was a storm ahead, and this was God’s way of telling me. I thanked God for being with me through the storm.
There are different categories of storms. These storms are defined by how strong the wind is, and from my quick google search, there are 5 categories ranging from minimal damage to catastrophic.
As I lay on my bed, I reflected on different biblical instances where God was present in the midst of the storm.
1. Jesus calms the storm in Matt 8:23-27
2. Jesus walked on water through another storm John 6:18-20
3. Paul was sailing for Rome and along the way got shipwrecked Acts 27:17-26
The common message I picked out from these stories is that in the end, the people around them believed and worshipped God.
Sometimes, the storms we go through are to call our attention, like Jonah who thought he could flee from God by sailing to Tarshish instead of Nineveh. Other times it may be for the people around us, like in the case of Jesus calming the storm. The storm challenged the faith of the disciples.
Another common message I picked out is peace. Storms are scary, but as the famous quote somewhat says, peace is not the absence of a storm but your composure amid the storm. It comes from knowing that God is with you.
“peace is not the absence of a storm but your composure amid the storm”
In the song, PRAISE YOU IN THE STORM, praise is the key to facing our storms. Today, I read the story of Paul and Silas who were stripped of their clothes, beaten and thrown into prison. Perhaps they were to stand trial or even be killed. But as they began to pray and sing hymns, the prison doors were opened. The place was shaken. Again, the jailer and his entire family believed and were saved.
Recently, it was like a storm shook the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) when one of our beloved pastors and son to our General Overseer (GO) died. The GO addressed the church, and his message was so profound – “We move on and we continue to win more souls – that’s the way to honour him. We may not always understand the reason for the storm, but we cannot question the maker of the storm because he is supreme. We can’t say ‘no, Lord’, it’s always ‘yes, Lord'”(paraphrasing). You can watch his message here.
We have the power to silence storms especially when they bring about fear and doubt. In the case of Jonah, the storm came about because he said “no, Lord” and grew stronger because of his hardened heart. Eventually, he repented, but the storm had caused a lot of unnecessary turmoil and damage. Paul also had warned the people not to head to a certain place (Acts 27:17-26), but they disobeyed and were caught in a storm. Amazingly, God always finds a way to turn things around for good. No one died and more people were converted.
In whatever storm you are facing, it’s always best to seek God’s face and understand his will. Full answers may not be available all the time, but we learn to build our faith, our knowledge of God and his love for us, and trust the maker of heaven and earth. The Bible encourages us to pray without ceasing and to rejoice (praise) always. By doing this, we can avoid certain storms.
God speaks out of the storm so wait and listenJob 38:1 – Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: