I've been thinking a lot about the word "storm" these past two weeks. Someone very close to me is going through an extremely difficult time right now, and a storm is the one word that keeps coming to my mind when I think about their situation. Just for kicks I looked up the definition for a storm this morning. It is amazing how much real weather storms and our personal storms can sound and feel alike. Here are just a few definitions that caught my eye: an atmospheric disturbance, a heavy shower of objects, such as bullets or missiles, a strong or violent outburst, as of emotion or excitement and a violent disturbance or upheaval. All of these could describe many peoples' personal storms, but the one that stopped me in my tracks and hit me hardest was "a violent, sudden attack on a fortified place."
The person I have been praying for is under one of the worst spiritual attacks I have ever seen. Their fortified place has not only being attacked, it is being destroyed with bullets and missiles from every human angle. Everyday it seems there is more conflict, more uncertainty and more to fight against. I hate this storm for my loved one and wish more than anything that they could find a quick fix, that God would grant a miracle and that the dangerous storm would blow over. So far that has not happened, and I, along with many others continue to cry out to God on their behalf.
Thankfully, one thing that God keeps reminding me throughout His precious Word is that storms DO NOT LAST FOREVER. He has also given me peace that even though we don't see God taking away the storm, he is working in it. For instance, this person has recommitted their life to Christ with a passion I have not witnessed in a very long time. Second, my loved one is surrounded by believers that are encouraging every step of their difficult battle and being the hands and feet of Jesus in helping with varied needs. And lastly, God has put all of us close to this person on high alert for our own fortified places. We are investing more in the important things like strengthening our own faith, improving our prayer lives, becoming more "others" centered and relying on Jesus to do what we are not able to do on our own.
Are you experiencing your own personal storm that doesn't seem to blow over or end? I have wonderful news for you. God has your storm covered and He will use it for good when you trust him with it fully. It may not end the way we would like and it may seem to others that He has let us down or forgotten us. He hasn't, and I believe when all is said and done with my loved one's storm, we will be praising God that He allowed it to take place.
I love Romans 8:38-39 and when I read it in The Message translation today, it gave me such a reassurance of God's love for all of us.
"So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us."