Friday, August 12, 2016

The Unavoidable Hurricane Season

The Caribbean is my favorite vacation destination. It feels so far “off the grid” for me and it actually allows me to feel like I’m escaping the real world for awhile. The problem with the Caribbean is that you need to plan your travel around “hurricane season.” Hurricane season occurs every year in the Caribbean and many other parts of the world. In fact, almost every region has its storm season which is less than desirable climate. 

How many times have you been going through a stormy season in your life and thought to yourself, and maybe said out loud to a couple close friends and maybe ten thousand social media followers: “I can’t wait until this storm is over! I am ready for life to be easy for awhile?” I know I’ve said it more times than I care to admit. 

I’ve never known a life free of storms. My life has always had it’s “hurricane season” and it seems just about as frequent and unpredictable as the weather patterns in the Caribbean. I would be willing to bet that you can agree with that statement as well. I have yet to meet someone who has a life free of troubles and challenges. 

Here’s what I know for sure: Hurricane season is unavoidable…for the Caribbean and for you and me. I’ve learned to stop asking “why, God, why?” and I try to embrace the challenge even though it often hurts. I know what my God has promised me and I know that all things work together for my good. 

“And we know that in all things God works 
for the good of those who love him, 
who have been called according to His purpose.”
Romans 8:28

Sometimes God needs to send a storm into our lives to get our undivided attention. When everything is going along just great, we tend to take credit because we are doing such a great job of running our lives. But as soon as it starts to rain and we get a little wet we often realize our deep need for God. He will use the storms to draw us closer to Him, to remind us that without Him, it’s impossible. 

When I am going through a storm in my life I am made acutely aware that He is my ROCK. It is HE who makes me strong. In my weakness, His strength is made absolutely perfect. When life is going great, it can get easy to start thinking “hey, I got this.” We don’t grow when life is easy. We grow when we go through the storms. During our storms is when God can build our character as our relationship with Him grows stronger and more intimate and we learn to trust in Him and have faith in His perfect plan for us. 

God uses the stormy times of our lives to reveal what is in our hearts. It’s like squeezing an orange - what comes out during the storm - that’s what is in our hearts. Sometimes the condition of our hearts is not very pretty. We can have some ugly stuff in those hearts that we’ve been carrying around for a very long time - bitterness, anger, jealousy, pride, greed. The storms build our character, they humble us to a place of forgiveness, peace, joy, contentedness and love. 

If we will take deep roots in our relationship with God - lean on Him, study His word, immerse ourselves in His promises and if we will spread our roots wide with strong relationships with other believers who we can be vulnerable with and who will hold us accountable, then like the palm tree, we too, will be able to withstand the hurricane season. 

Enjoy the calm. Praise Him and thank Him for the calm between the stormy seasons. He is good. All the time. 

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