Dancing in the Storm

One of my favorite songs right now is Passenger’s Let Her Go. You’ve probably heard it. “Well, you only need the light when it’s burning low, Only miss the sun when it starts to snow, Only know you love her when you let her go…” It rings so true that we don’t know what we have until it’s gone, because it’s so human to take what we have for granted.

This, I think, is one of the reasons we have storms in our lives: to help us to appreciate the good times. Think of the worst day of your life, or the worst few months of it. If that worst day isn’t today and that worst time isn’t still going on, you have something to be thankful for in that your life has gotten better. You may be going through a storm, but it’s not the worst you’ve seen.

And if that day is today, then you can be thankful that these times, though it may seem otherwise, don’t last forever. The storm eventually subsides, the puddles dry up, and the sun pierces the clouds once more.

Another part of this is found in Ecclesiastes 7:14, “In the day of prosperity, be joyful, but in the day of adversity, consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, so that man can find out nothing that will come after him.” God may have appointed you to go through a storm so that you don’t know what’s coming next. Not coming next makes you want to grasp for security and there is nothing more secure than Him. If trials grow your faith, the reward to be found in the trials is greater than the reward to be found in prosperity. If we can truly grasp this, we will be able to dance in the storm as much as in the sun.

Can you imagine what non-Christians would think of that? Of us celebrating when everything seems to be going against us? Of us praising God when we’ve lost our jobs, have a loved one in the hospital, or have a rebellious teenager? That’s the kind of peace that passes all understanding, that makes non-Christians wonder if maybe what we believe really is powerful enough to make a difference in our lives, a difference they want to experience themselves.

How do you react when you’re going through a trial? For my part, I have my good days and my bad ones. Sometimes, my faith is strong and the trial seems so much smaller than God. At others…well, I still have a lot of growing to do. I’m not yet at the point where I can be not just happy through the storm, but happy because of the storm, knowing that it’s during our trials when God grows us the most and brings us the closest to Him.

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God’s Love Letter: Silver and Gold

In Haggai 1, God instructs the people to rebuild the temple. He tells them that they have planted their crops, but little has come up. They have eaten and drank, but no one is full. They earned money, but saw it all slip away. And the reason God gives for this is found in verse 9: “’You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.'” In other words, the people were seeking their own gain instead of God, and so God kept their gain from them.

Haggai 2:8 says, “‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts.” It’s His to do what He wants with it. We often get caught up in thinking, “If I work hard enough, I’ll get this,” or, “I don’t want to lose all my stuff,” forgetting that it is God who allowed you to have that stuff in the first place.

God may allow you to have things that will take you away from Him. We see that all the time with rock stars, athletes, and other celebrities. Yet God will never give you anything that takes you away from Him. Everything that comes from God is given because He knows it will draw you closer, rather than take you farther away.

I have been struggling with what I feel is my duty as the husband to provide for my wife. I want to provide, yet it’s been difficult to find a job and our books have yet to find agents. I have been looking to myself to provide for our needs and that’s likely why God has not blessed me. It is for Him that I should be working, not for Leah and myself. It is from Him that I should expect blessings, not from some company or individual. Everything we get from this world will turn to ash. Everything we get from God will draw us closer to the eternal Lover of our souls.

God, help me not forget that the reason I am here is to worship You, not to serve myself. Help me remember that true prosperity is having more of You, not more in my bank account. Help me to know that my success comes from how earnestly I serve You, regardless of the results, which are on You to provide. And lastly, etch into my heart that my worth comes from what you think of me, not from how well I live up to the world’s or my standards.