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Beauty in and Through the Storm

Oh, what a gorgeous morning!! I was driving to town at about 9 this morning and the surrounding countryside was breathtaking. But yesterday afternoon was a different story.


I measured 4 inches of snow at my place before it slowed down last night. Coming home I had near white-out conditions at times. It was snowing hard! It’s a heavy, droopy snow. Huge dollops of frosting on the pine trees and shrubs and then this morning, the sky has started to clear, the sun started to shine through, and everything was bright and beautiful. I snapped this picture coming out of my driveway this morning.

The beauty after the storm. But I thought of the beauty in the storm, through the storm.


I’m going to share something very personal. I have forever been a “we eat our meals at the table” sort of person. Meal time, especially dinner was done together, at the table. Wendell has been gone 2 years and, in that time, I could not bring myself, even once, to sit at my table alone and eat my meal. Last night was an exception.


I sat at a chair that was not mine, facing the beauty of the snowfall outside. I sat there alone, eating my pecan encrusted salmon and spinach mashed potatoes and I became filled with contentment. Maybe that is the wrong word. Let’s try, gratitude. My heart began to overflow with gratefulness, for the privilege of sitting in such a beautiful setting, watching the snow fall and pile up, the crackle of my woodstove in the background, the cats lounging on their cat post also watching the snow, my dog at my feet, hopeful for a treat. The silence of the woods. I felt blessed. I’m not sure how long I sat there but it felt good, it felt right. I might try it again soon.


There is beauty in the storm, and we can find beauty in the stormy areas of our lives as well. If not beauty, certainly peace. But there is only way, only one means.


There is a story of a group of fishermen out on the water when suddenly a storm arose. These were seasoned fishermen. There were accustomed to storms and rough seas, but this was different.


It was the fall of 1991. A catastrophic storm would sweep northeastern coast of the United States, wreaking havoc along the coast of Massachusetts.


The storm would eventually be called the 'perfect storm' and would inspire a movie of the same name.


No one anticipated it making landfall with its hurricane-strength devastation, but for those on the water, it was a death sentence.


The Andrea Gail set out of Gloucester on what was meant to be a month-long fishing trip off the coast of Newfoundland, covering a total of 900 miles according to Boston.com. What they didn't know is that the storm heading up the coast would take the lives of 13 people and cause millions of dollars in damage from Florida all the way up to Nova Scotia. Winds from the storm reached strengths of 120 miles per hour and when no communication was heard from the 72-foot Andrea Gail, which was right in the center of the storm, the search was called off in a matter of ten days. To this day, the trawler, and its crew, have never been recovered. (Source: thetravel.com)


There is another story with a much different outcome. These too were seasoned fishermen. They also were accustomed to storms and rough seas, but this night would be different.


“Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”


“But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:23-27 NKJV


I would offer, that even if those men had not awakened Jesus, they would have been able to ride out that storm. I offer that if they had decided not to wake Him, but instead rely on their knowledge that because the Master was in their presence, they would be safe. I believe if they had only exercised their faith, everything would have been fine in the end. But they panicked. Don’t we all?


This storm came out of nowhere. The Bible says “suddenly”.


This was not your everyday rain and wind storm. The Bible says “great tempest”.


They weren’t just be tossed around on the waves. The Bible says, “the boat was covered with the waves.”


They were sure they were going to die, and Jesus just slept.


Have you ever wondered where God is in the midst of your storm? Have you ever asked, “does He see me?” “Does He hear me?” “Does He have any idea that my life is being swamped with waves of grief and sadness?” “Is God asleep?”


We turn to Him, screaming, “Lord save me. I’m dying! Where are you?” and He quietly says, “why are you afraid?” “You have such little faith.”


But He doesn’t just rebuke you with His words and walk away, ready for another day when your faith is stronger so you can try to get it right next time. No! He stands and He rebukes the storm in your life. He says to the winds of strife, be still. He commands the waves of pain to cease. And we look at Him and marvel at this Man who can command even the winds and the sea to obey Him.


Psalm 89:9 says, “You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them.”


That’s our God, and we can count on Him. Yes, He hears you. Yes, He sees you. Yes, He knows you. No, He is not asleep.


You say you don’t feel Him? You aren’t sure He cares? James 4:8 tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us.


Take a step towards Him. If a step is too much, just reach out our hand. Jesus is waiting. In fact, Isaiah wrote that our Lord longs to be gracious to us. Think about that! The Lord of the Heavens and the Earth, the Creator of all things, the Alpha and the Omega, and so much more, wants to be gracious to you.


“Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you…that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him…He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.” Isaiah 30:18-19 NKJV


Life is full of storms but with our faith in Jesus, we can weather those storms. We can emerge victorious we can break through those storm clouds just like the sun did this morning.


If you have been waiting to make a decision to follow Jesus, don’t put it off. It makes this ol’ life much more bearable.


by Jeanette Stark Friday, February 24, 2023

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