(published May, 2009)
"Everywhere there is the persistent and insane attempt to obtain pleasure without paying for it....'Let us have the pleasure of conquerors without the pains of soldiers; let us sit on sofas and be a hardy race.' ...All around us is the city of small sins, abounding in backways and retreats, but surely, sooner or later, the towering flame will rise from the harbor announcing that the reign of the cowards is over and a man is burning his ships." - GK Chesterton
The storm came upon me again. I did not see it coming because this morning the day dawned with clear blue skies. I even dug into my “piggy bank” and managed a second Starbucks this week. The morning gave no indication of a storm. In fact, my morning was stupendous. I would tell you about it, but I take pleasure in keeping some things off the internet between God and me. I knew He was smiling at me this morning. I felt His peace as I sang praise songs to Him all the way to work. Nothing could dim my mood.
The second Starbucks became my fuel for an unusually busy morning. How was I to know when I asked for more work that I would get a deluge? I am not complaining. Most people know I love a good challenge, and just for fun, God threw in a new challenge: get over 200 CD’s done before 3 p.m. Unfortunately, I only reached 170. It felt like running a race and everyone kept throwing things in my path in which to trip. The storm exploded shortly before I left work.
A relative of mine once professed a fear of storms. She had her own dark room underneath the stairs with a bed and lantern. Every time a thunderstorm rolled in, she rolled into her little room. Maybe I would be safer to hide in a dark room with a little lantern and a warm bed. Maybe I will lock the door as the storms rage around me. How would this look to the unsaved of the world? A Christian who runs when a storm begins to gather on the horizon tells a false testimony.
When Tony and I went hiking last Saturday, we were embroiled in a huge storm. We were standing on one big mountain and the rocky cliffs of the dry riverbed in the distance did not offer much comfort. The thunder exploding overhead and the lightning bolt that missed us by fifteen minutes, was a lesson from Jesus. He is watching and taking care of us. He is bigger than any storm. As Tony and I prayed together walking fast down the muddy road, I sang “Amazing Grace.”
What should I fear in my life except fear? Let me stand in the storm with my arms raised to Heaven. Let me have the faith of David and fling my stone at the giants who try to fill my head with negative and false thoughts. Let me walk among my enemies without fear, without causing harm, and still show the strength of my resolve and conviction. In every storm, there is a purpose.
The flowers bloom. The grass smells sweet. The smell of rain, earth, and trees arrest your senses and the damp ground quiets your steps. After a storm, beauty blooms and abounds in the high desert. After a storm in our own lives, beauty abounds because we persevered. Jesus is more than just about love. He is not a flower child. He is God. Every storm brings in the perfect plan and result. We may not know it, but there is reward in trusting. Moreover, a storm eventually passes quickly.
NOTE FROM BERNIE LUTCHMAN:
NIKKI IS ON STAFF AT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF PRESCOTT, ARIZONA. SHE IS MARRIED TO TONY HAHN.