I was at a friend’s house this week for a visit and she showed me some damage that had been done to her house by a recent storm. Some of the brickwork was busted around her porch, as well as posts needed to be replaced. In addition, they were going to need a new roof. I remember that storm. It sounded like it was on top of our house and with the first clap of booming thunder my little girls were out of their bed and into mine quicker than a lightning strike. It was a scary storm that raged through the night. With the morning light came the realization that trees and limbs and much damage had been done all over our area.
As I was looking at the damage at my friend’s house, I asked the very important question, “Your homeowner’s insurance will cover this, right?!” Thankfully yes, but the part that caught my attention was when she informed me that they had been looking at doing some work to their porch and have their roof replaced before the storm came along. And knowing my friend, it had no doubt been a matter of prayer for her. Now, here she was getting all the work done that they needed without having to pay out-of-pocket. They suddenly had a great blessing…after they waited out the scary storm.
I was so struck at how that scenario at her house mimics so much of our lives as believers. We often have to ride out storms…and some of them scary during the process, only to find that the storm itself actually brought a tremendous blessing. In our own family recently we’ve experienced some health scares. While looking them in the face, it has been somewhat unnerving, but there has been a tremendous blessing in how it has caused us to find gratitude in the little things and be more gracious and kind to each other. It’s renewed our love for each other and our desire to spend time together. That is a blessing.
Last week our church, our church leadership and the pastor (my husband) was openly criticized on FB by a disgruntled individual with a bone to pick and a hankering to incite rebellion. He slandered and lied in viscous ways and stirred up a mess. The Enemy must have been so happy at the storm he sent our way. But when our congregation met on Sunday, the place was full, the Spirit was sweet and the people…they rallied to truth and stood unified and we felt the presence of God’s peace. It was such a beautiful thing. Perhaps something we wouldn’t have experienced if there had not been a storm.
Our house still lives through the storms of Autism every day. Early on the storms would rage and be overwhelming, with the intensity of a hurricane. They are more like pop up showers these days, but in years gone by I wondered if we would survive the torrential power thrown at us. A decade later, with a now teenage daughter with Autism, I will say with no hesitation that the blessings this storm has brought are too many to count. I’m overwhelmed by the blessing of this storm. There’s not enough words to explain the depth of the blessing.
Maybe you are fighting through a tough season right now and doing everything in your power to make things work, but finding little success. Perhaps the best thing to do is just jold on until the storm is over. There’s probably a rainbow above the rain. You just can’t see it yet.
Hardly any Bible character teaches us this story more than Joseph. An innocent young man, betrayed and sent from his homeland of Israel to Egypt by being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Falsely accused by his master’s wife and thrown into prison for years. Finally, after being forgotten by those who could help, he has an opportunity to use his gift of interpreting dreams to help Pharoah. This propells him into national leadership of one of the most powerful nations on earth. His leadership eventually saves all of Egypt from famine, as well as his own family who traveled there in need of food. When his brothers come to realize that the young man they sold into slavery now had command over armies they are terrified at what he will do to them. His response in Genesis 50:20 is truer than true: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”
I think sometimes we get so obsessed with the storm and why it came that we forget that it can be a tool. I have a set of tools at my house, but I’m pretty limited in what I can do with them. My uncle, however, is a master builder and can make beautiful things with those same tools. God is a master builder too, and He can take any storm and use it as a tool to make something beautiful. So, if I have a choice between cursing the storm or giving it to the Master, then maybe I just need to let Him have it. Hold on tight. Give the storm to the Lord and then wait for the blessing that the storm will bring.