“Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper, and the waves of the sea were hushed.” Psalm 107:28-29
As my daughter and I started out on our trip a soggy drizzle accompanied by a pea soup fog surrounded the house as we loaded up to leave. We made it only 10 minutes down the road before the bottom dropped out. Traffic was heavy, and the road spray from a constant stream of cars and 18-wheelers on the interstate made visibility iffy. I was nervous. I’m a nervous passenger anyway. But this day had me gripping the door handle and signaling to my grown daughter with my body language that I did not trust her driving.
“Do you want me to pull over where you can drive?” she asked.
“No, Sweetie. I trust you. You know me, I just like to be in control,” I replied.
“I know. That’s why I’m seriously offering to swap drivers now,” came her kind response.
I reluctantly declined, determined to be a real adult, and not wanting to send her evidence I was insecure with her.
The truth is I like control. I don’t like storm clouds, dangerous driving, or being out of control in any way. But God is taking me on a journey of faith. Faith in Him lived out by trusting God through whatever situation is going on around me.
As we traveled on God was teaching. Teaching me to let go of control, and more.
We were at the very beginning of a 10 hour mother-daughter road trip. Could I trust God enough to trust my daughter’s driving on a rainy day and thereby set a good tone for our whole trip? At the moment I declined her offer for me to drive, I decided to relax my grip, put on my big girl pants, and simply rest in God. I turned on my seat warmer, leaned back and tried to remain casual. My physical mind swirled as my spiritual heart worked to retain peace.
The rain worsened. It became a full fledged storm with thunder, lightning, thrashing rain, and blowing wind. The battle between spirit and flesh within me was real. We turned on some light praise music. I sought to recall verses from scripture to still my fearful heart. Time seemed to drag on. A minute can seem like an eternity. In reality, in just about 20 more minutes the rain turned back toward a drizzle. We were able to see actual sky instead of just gray haze all around. A definitive line of the edge of the cloud bank appeared ahead with a sliver of clear, sunny sky just beyond. And within 3 more minutes we were out from under the storm clouds, sunlight streaming all around, with the landscape beautiful and refreshed by the downpour.
The other 9 hours and 27 minutes of our trip were perfect: sunshine, beautiful sights and sounds, light traffic, and great conversation. A glorious time for Mom and child, now two adult friends.
Storms in life are the same way. They build up, make us feel out of control, scare us, and test our faith. They force us to choose faith over fear. They seem scary at the moment. They seem endless. We feel helpless and hopeless. Time drags and we wonder if the storm will ever end. The lesson of my storm that day is four-fold:
- Turn loose of control and have faith in God. Trust that whatever happens God will take care of you and strengthen you to bear it.
- Saturate your mind in God’s Word to calm your nervous heart.
- Know that the storm will come to an end. The edge of the cloud is just around the corner. It will come. It will surprise you.
- The sunshine is there behind the storm cloud the whole time. God’s answer, His love, and His glory are often obscured by our situation. Don’t trust what you see with your physical eyes; trust what you know is going on in the heavens.