“These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4
Jesus promises us, that because we are in the world, we will have tribulations, in other words, troubles, difficulties and “storms”. Storms are a part of life. It’s how we deal with the storms that defines us. Paul tells us that we are to “glory in tribulations” because they produce Godly character and hope.
About a week and a half ago, we had a pretty serious ice storm. The freezing rain started near dark and lasted off and on through out the night. The wind was ferocious, and pieces of ice and sleet pelted the windows and clattered across the metal roof. A very troubling night; who knew what we would find in the morning. But when we woke up in the morning, and the sky lightened, the world around us had totally changed.
A layer of ice encased every tree and leaf that had not already fallen. Every exposed object was turned into an icy sculpture, including the pickup truck! With trees down across the drive and huge branches littering the yard, it would be a long, difficult clean up. But it was also beautiful. We were awestruck as we looked out at the ice-coated world. There was beauty, even in the destructive storm.
The next morning sunrise lights the ice, shimmering, sparkling beauty!
We all have storms in our lives that make us wonder if we will survive them. The loss of a parent or a child, a broken heart, an issue with our health, a divorce, addiction, let’s face it, the list is long. Storms can make us doubt our faith, or fill us with rage, or even withdraw from those we love. How do we “glory” in the pain and suffering? How do we find the beauty?
I lost both of my parents to cancer way too soon. I was only in my thirties, they were in their sixties. My dad passed away three weeks before our son was born. My son would never know his grandfather and my dad would never know his grandson. We didn’t know if we could even make it to the memorial service, believe it or not, we were having a February ice storm. We did make it (with prayers) and even with the heavy grief and sorrow and loss, there was beauty.
God comforted and soothed my heart and I bored my husband on the long drive up with all the wonderful memories and humor of my dad. There was beauty in the love of family and friends; the memorial service was full of tears and laughter. There was beauty in the comfort of siblings as we celebrated the life of our father who helped to shape our lives. And there is continued beauty as I look at my son who takes after the grandfather that he never got to meet but heard so much about.
This week let’s try to find the beauty in our storms. Let’s glory in our tribulations by turning to God, our Father, and finding His comfort and presence in our storms. And when we can find the beauty, let’s give Him the glory.
I thank God for each of you. And I thank you for joining me this week as we discover the beauty in our storms.