The ever changing phases of life are often referred to as seasons. If that's true, my family has been experiencing a very long and active hurricane season. After a blissful time of relative peace and security, it seems we have plunged into a period of constant uncertainty. For the past four years I have felt that just as I get my wits about me and the mess cleaned up from one storm, I learn another is approaching.
Yet even as the storms come, I am keenly aware that in this season, people are watching. I know that my reactions say volumes about my God to my kids and my loved ones. One day as I was wrestling with God over what exactly it is He wants me to learn from all this, I sensed Him saying, “You’ve already learned the lessons. I just want you to apply them.” He brought me memories of truths I learned during the real hurricanes of 2004.
Oddly enough, the most important lesson I learned from the hurricanes, I learned from a dog. The year of the 2004 storms, we had acquired an 8-month-old chocolate lab as a companion and tormentor for our aging dog. My in-laws came to our house to wait out one of the storms, bringing their two dogs with them. With seven people and four dogs, our little house was crowded, so we put the dogs on the sheltered back porch, which opened up to the back yard.
As the storm intensified and the wind whipped wildly and rain pelted down horizontally, the three older dogs huddled down together in the most protected corner of the porch. Not Montana. That crazy puppy charged right out into the storm! She was in her glory: racing back and forth across the yard, jumping to bite at the rain and turning complete flips in the puddles. A storm raged around her, and she was having a party. Every other living creature was cowering, and she was dancing.
I remember laughing and thinking, “I want to be like that!” I want to remember that if God allows a storm in my life, then perhaps I am about to witness Divine power in action. I don't want to have a sense of dread over what I’ll have to endure, but a sense of excitement for what God is about to accomplish. Instead of groaning that I might have to experience discomfort, I want to thrill that I might get to witness a miracle!
Oswald Chambers said:
“We are super-victors with a joy that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to destroy us. Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them...The things we try to avoid and fight against―tribulation, suffering and persecution―are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. We are more than conquerors through Him...IN all these things; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it.”
The worship band at my church sings a song often that declares that God, “loves like a hurricane.” The song never fails to bring me to tears because I realize that the power displayed in the fiercest hurricane is but the tiniest fraction of the power of the One who loves me. I know that in the midst of the storm, I am secure.