A strange bug clung to my windshield as I left work earlier this week. It was the kind that looked like it would fit right in with a bunch of straw and leaves. Unfortunately for him, I didn’t notice it was there until I was on the highway.
Fortunately for me, I gained some perspective from his brave journey.
HANGING ON FOR DEAR LIFE
For ease of reading, I’ll refer to my bug friend as Angus (a Celtic name that means “exceptionally strong” – you’ll soon see why the name befits him).
When I first noticed Angus, he was angled sideways with 55 mile-per-hour wind forcing his velum-like wings askew. I just knew at any moment he would succumb to the gale. Surely his toes were losing grip by the second!
But Angus had grit. I could tell he wasn’t going down without a fight.
As I slowed to make a turn, he repositioned himself – most likely jockeying for his escape. Ultimately, all he could do was hang tight for the long haul, though. Which he did.
It wasn’t long before his wings were flapping in the breeze again. I can imagine his twiggy legs were screaming in agony! But Angus hunkered with hope. As we slowed again, he shifted his determined stance to face the wind head on. Angus meant business.
Eventually, I came to a stop at a light near my home, at which time Angus surveyed the situation and made his daring getaway. Amazingly, his wings were none the worse for wear, and I almost think I saw him give a wink as he fluttered off toward Publix.
THE EYE OF THE STORM
No one warned Angus of the endurance test he would face that day. He had no idea his life would be snatched by the roots and hurled into an unknown territory twenty-some-odd miles away. In bug miles that’s like two laps around the equator!
I know this story seems silly, but consider how it parallels with our own lives.
Unexpected events can send us swirling into a cyclone of uncertainty, doubt and fear that lands us in a foreign land. When a loved one passes away, when you or someone you love receives an ominous diagnosis, when financial troubles strike, when relationships fail – these can all strip us of our focus, faith and footing.
When I separated from my husband in 2012, it wasn’t a few passing clouds or scattered showers we experienced during the months and years leading up. We suffered through a multi-cell tornado that affected every aspect of our lives: familial relationship, our finances, jobs, possessions and ourselves – emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically.
The squall was relentless. The pelting was severe. Our marriage was all but leveled.
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” (Mark 4:39-40 NIV).
HELP IS CLOSE AT HAND
Looking back, I can identify many poor choices I made – division, judgement and pride instead of unity, understanding and humility. Rather than seek godly counsel, I chose immaturity by hiding, avoiding and denying.
But it took both of us coaxing the wind to the verge where conditions were just right for the perfect storm.
What did it take for the downpour to dissipate? It took me running to Jesus and screaming, “Wake up! We’re going to die! We’re drowning!”
Before I breathed the final syllable of my plea, His restoring power was already at work.
I treasure His response: “Quite. Be still.”
I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW, THE RAIN IS GONE
It was at this crossroads where I finally grasped my need for The Cross.
Until then, I was living in faithless fear. I didn’t know the One, the Faith Giver, who makes us to abide in the quiet and the still. I doubted we would survive the storm.
Until He spoke quiet and still to me.
Our storm – every storm – is His glory story. He met us in the ruin so we could meet Him in His splendor. We are witnesses of His work – Love in action – pouring out wisdom for our benefit that we would increase our trust in knowing He is there to quiet the storm.
Now our purpose is to perpetuate the faith that His faithfulness inspires. I share these drops of wisdom with hope that you may weather your next storm with increased faith:
4 STEPS TO SECURE YOUR FAITH IN A STORM
- Reestablish Your Bearings – It’s our fear in the storm that crowds out our faith. But it’s God’s presence we need to dispel this fear and regain our faith space. (Ephesians 3:12)
- Realign with Truth – When we don’t understand our circumstances or how to make it through, know that God will accomplish infinitely more than we can ever imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)
- Confidently Endure – When exhaustion settles in, draw strength from God’s love for you. (Ephesians 3:17)
- Secure Your Footing – Despite your physical location or condition, position your spirit on the unshakable ground at the foot of the Cross. (Ephesians 3:19)
God will purpose every storm to build our faith, truth by truth. And we can smile today knowing that the wealth of spiritual wisdom, compassion and faith we gather in the aftermath of life’s storms is invaluable for use in our purpose and calling.
When you weather a storm in faith, never doubt whether God is restoring you.
So, tell me about your storms. Were you able to secure your faith and endure it? Are you in one now? Run to Him. Cry out in faith and watch Him bring quiet and still to your heart.
I’d love to hear how God has transformed your storm into His glory story. Please share in the comments below to perpetuate your faith and bring hope to others!