Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Meeting God in the Storm

On Sunday, August 28 Boston got a taste of Tropical Storm Irene.  I had begun to move from one apartment to another the day before.  Yes I know, bad timing!  I was at my mom's, sitting in her bed upstairs, listening to the wind howl and the rain beat heavily against the window.  It's the same house I grew up in as a child and even in adulthood there is something so comforting about being in my mom's room, wrapped up in her blankets!  From time to time I have trouble sleeping.  There are some nights like last night when I just lay awake for hours, but EVERY time I visit my mom and sneak off into her room I fall asleep, EVERY single time.  I just can't explain it.

Anyway, I was in bed watching TV, so glad to be completely sheltered from the storm when I began to feel the presence of God slip into the room.  It was unexpected, but it should not have been.  I allowed myself to be still for a moment and became aware of the Presence that had always been there.  It happens every time I allow myself to be still.  I thought to myself isn't it just like God to show up in the middle of a storm?  The wind is raging outside, knocking down tree branches and power lines.  The rain is beating against the window as if it really wants to come in and here comes God, quietly, but so surely stepping into the room and meeting me in the middle of the storm.  I began to pray and I began to feel that every single storm I've ever experienced in my life would be used by God to bring out something good, that all of the things I've thought of as burdens God would use them to become sources of blessing for me and for others.

This is the God that I know, the God who is not deterred by raging winds and relentless rain.  The God who is not deterred by your past.  The God who is not deterred by your rage.  The God who is not deterred by your unbelief.  This God will meet you in the storm, whatever storm you may be experiencing in your life right now.  God will meet you there and God will use the very things that came into your life to hurt you to bless you.  The God who turns burdens into blessings will meet you in the storm.

And so I say thank you, even for the winds and the rain, even for the challenges and the obstacles, even for the disappointments and the pain.  If I had never shed a tear than I would have never discovered the God who turns tears into dancing.  And so I say thank you, even for the storm, but most of all for the God who's not afraid to meet me there.

Following the Way,

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