I don’t like storms. The thunder and lightening isn’t so bad, but when the wind begins to bend the trees, I start getting uncomfortable.
Yesterday while I was outside, all of the sudden, the sky darkened and the trees started bowing in the wind. I knew a storm was on the way and my heart beat faster. It reminded me of a day about fifteen years ago.
We had just moved to our house in the hollow. There was a dry creek in the back of our house that only had water in it when it rained. Then it would fill as the water drained from the surrounding hills to join with a creek in the front of our house.
Tornado warnings and several inches of rain was in the weather forecast that day. In the afternoon, the skies became angry looking as the wind whipped through the valley. Soon the hard rains came. In a matter of minutes that babbling brook transformed into a raging river and I panicked.
This was the first time I had seen water rise so quickly. There is a bridge that separates our house from the road. I knew if the flood waters left its banks, we were trapped. I tried to call my husband at work, but he had already been instructed to leave his desk for safety and this was before we had cell phones.
My children were ages 2, 6, 8, and 10 and I began to envision us floating away in our house! So I did probably the stupidest thing ever. I got the children in coats, grabbed some crackers and peanut butter, and we dashed out into the rain, thunder, and lightening to aclimb the steep hill behind our house and huddled under a large tree!
Yes, it was a dumb idea, but I don’t think clearly when I’m panicking. I was prepared for us to be there for hours. I have to say, we had a good view of the water activity below. The storm left about as quickly as it had arrived. We had more than three inches of rain in less than fifteen minutes. The waters crested, left its banks, then receded.
I can laugh about it now, but it sure wasn’t funny at the time. It was one of the scariest times in my life! Sometimes anxiety can rise in my heart just as quickly as the creek waters rose that day when I begin to focus on my problems and take my eyes off Jesus.
When I think about the sad affairs of our deteriorating society and country and what my children and grandchildren might face, I become anxious. Just as I didn’t know then how high the waters would rise before the clouds dropped the last rain, sometimes I wonder how bad my problems will get before they get better. Then I begin to worry because I’m focusing on the cares of this life more than I am the Author of it.
Sometimes instead of God removing the storm around us, He chooses to calm the storm within us.
If I spend too much time thinking about my problems, I just get worked up. Worrying is like rocking in a chair. It takes a lot of energy, but gets you nowhere. But if I will lean into Jesus and draw closer to Him during these times, my faith is strengthened as I trust Him and watch Him provide.
I’d like to share some verses from God’s Word, the Bible, that help calm my troubled heart….
- Thou (God) wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee (God): because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
- Through God we shall do valiantly. Psalm 60:12
- But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:19
- It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. Psalm 18: 32, 33
- Call upon me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3
- I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. Psalm 121: 1, 2
- Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7
- What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. Psalm 56:3
- Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you. I Peter 5:7
If the storm is raging around you right now, I hope you aren’t trying to weather it alone. God loves you and His grace is sufficient to get you through it. Run to Him. He is truly the safest place in this world.
May we keep our eyes on Jesus today,