"In the midst of the storm"


Storms.


The one thing we can all probably relate to in life. For some it may be financial, for some physical, some relational, some mental. For others it may even be spiritual. But what I want to speak about today is what we can do in the "midst of the storm" because at some point in our life we all find ourselves there.


In the midst of the storm is usually the middle. The part on the journey where we don't quite know what to do. Things look uncertain, unclear, blurry, sometimes even life threatening and we are faced with the decision to keep going or to turn back. It is that season where some want to give up, a season where we find ourselves having to walk by faith and not by sight. We all go through a storm but the storm doesn't have to be the end of us, infact it can be an opportunity to grow in faith.


A few words were dropped into my spirit which I'm here to encourage someone with. I have also had my fair share of storms so I pray that some of the wisdom that I share will encourage and help someone who is currently "in the midst of the storm".


Firstly, I think it is important for us to mention that storms can happen in our life for a number of different reasons. Sometimes it can just be life (like natural disasters that cannot be avoided, Covid 19 being a recent example), sometimes it is because of our own disobedience (let's take Jonah as an example), and one that we sometimes forget to talk about, storms that rise when we are walking with Jesus, in obedience). The latter is the one I have been led to speak about today, but hopefully at some point in the future, we can talk about the other two :).


"Like mentioned above, sometimes in life we find ourselves in seasons where all we are seeing is storms. Immediately we start to question ourselves, "God what have I done, is there a sin I have not confessed, am I going in the wrong direction, God where are You? One thing that we can learn from scripture and walking with Jesus is that sometimes the storm comes when we are infact walking in the right direction. I remember when I decided to reconnect with God again after a season of disobedience. What followed? Storms, Storms, Storms. You would think that coming back to the Lord or taking your relationship with Him serious would mean everything will be perfect again, or at least that's what I thought. But God taught me a key lesson in that season that I share with you guys today. A lot of the time, the storm may just be evidence that you are walking in the right direction and walking on the right path.


Keep walking...




If any of you have ever been in a physical storm before, you will agree with me that staying still in a storm can be very dangerous. Especially if you are slim like me, standing still in a storm can easily blow someone away, but like the eagle when we keep moving forward by the grace of God we can weather the storm. Sometimes we may have to walk slower than usual, but the key thing is that we keep moving. When we continue to walk with Jesus, He has His ways of giving us signposts on the way. When we look at the story of Peter walking on water towards Jesus, one thing that speaks to me is that they were on the way to the "other side" when the storm came. A lot of the time, the storm may come when we are on the journey trying to stop us from getting to the other side.


A Journey to the other side...



You may be wondering what is the other side? Now, this may look different for each person but as we often hear, after the storm there is a rainbow. Those familiar with the old testament will know that the rainbow represents covenant. A lot of the time, on the other side of the storm are answers to promises that the Lord has made concerning your life. Who wouldn't want to go to the other side right? Well in scripture we see the disciples going to "the other side" with Jesus when they were faced with a storm on sea. I want us to quickly look at 3 passages of scripture (Matthew 8:23-27, Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 4:35-41) and see what we can learn and apply to our own journey while in the midst of the storm.


Fix your eyes on Jesus!



Now in a storm, the natural human thing to do is to focus on the storm. But what we learn from Matthew 14 is that the real strategy to get through the storm is to keep focussing and trusting in Jesus. Now this takes some practice and also takes some time. But the key is to keep refocusing our mind on Jesus each time our focus starts to move to the storm or to our circumstances. How do I do this you may ask? I asked myself the same question. From what God has taught me so far, I have learned that staying in the Word (studying, meditating and reciting) along with prayer (including praying the word) and worship really helps. It also helps with having a positive perspective, a heavenly perspective in the situation which is also key to getting through the storm. We do this by renewing our mind daily through scriptures relevant to that season or our circumstance. The scriptures listed earlier above are a great place to start. God really speaks to us through scriptures giving us direction and strategy as we go through the storm, but when we take our focus off Him it's harder for us to see and receive these directions. The words we speak in this season are also very important.


Another thing that I have noticed is that "in the midst of the storm" it is usually very dark and the truth is that we need light as well as peace. Fixing our eyes on Jesus truly helps us to find that light and peace. But let's be real again, it's not always easy at the beginning, and sometimes as we first start "walking on the water", maybe our faith is not strong enough to keep us going, and we find ourselves starting to sink and this is a time to really cry out for help.


Lord, save me!



The beautiful thing about the passage in Matthew 14:30 is that Peter was able to cry out to Jesus and say "Lord, save me". Jesus didn't just leave him and watch him drown, but He reached out and saved him from drowning in the storm. One thing I am confident about walking with Christ is that no matter how much we feel like we are drowning we can always call out to Him; He will never let the storm take us out, neither will He leave us or forsake us (even when it feels like it). There are also people around us that we can reach out to as sometimes they may not even know that we are going through a storm (as some storms are not visible to the physical eye). So if like Peter you find yourself losing faith at some points on the journey, don't beat yourself up. Cry out to Jesus in prayer, journal and trust that He will help you.


"Lord Jesus, I am currently struggling on this journey, please help me. Save me!"

And if you haven't given your life to Christ I will encourage you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord! You can be saved today by faith and through God's grace. I pray that you receive this free gift of salvation as ultimately this is more important than being saved from the storms that we face in life.


"Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior."

Final word of encouragement...


And finally, I will just like to end with this point. No storm ever lasts forever! So if you are currently in a storm, just remember that it is just a season. The sun will shine again. My prayer is that God will help and strengthen you through the storm, and that the storm will make you better and not bitter. Remember the eagle. The eagle uses the pressure of the storm to go higher! Let us learn from the eagle in the midst of the storm: have a strong vision/focus, be in the present, become comfortable with being uncomfortable and be bold and courageous. And if you are finding it difficult to do any of these things, reach out to God to carry you through the storm, wait and hope on the Lord and He will surely renew your strength. May you mount up with wings like eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31). Be encouraged, there is no storm too big for the Lord. I pray that this comforts someone today.


If you haven't read my previous blog post "Help through the storm" do check this post out and I pray that it blesses you also. Don't forget to like the post, share on your socials and with whoever may need this word and also comment below.


Until the next post, Shalom x

Written by Maria


Song suggestion: Jesus at the Centre (Maverick City)

https://youtu.be/cppk44JFVMk

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