Fog hovers over the surface of the lake;
spreading its arms, quieting its wake.
A hush comes over the forest that is not the norm.
The world is subdued–waiting for the storm.
No loons call out, bidding goodbye to the day.
The choruses of crickets and frogs are silent–instead, they pray.
Beneath the heaviness of the fog the lake doesn’t even reach for shore;
For now, it is submissive and vigilant–waiting for the rain to pour.
The night is oppressive, the dark absolute–
Thick clouds shroud the stars and cover the moon.
The beat of my heart is the only sound I hear.
It echoes off the trees and the earth, increasing my fear.
Even the wind has stilled–biding its time, holding its breath.
And the animals hunker down to escape death.
The silence is eerie, but the calm is strangely charged.
Whatever it is, I sense it too–this storm is going to be large.
Far off in the distance, on the other side of the lake,
Thunder begins to rumble causing the earth to shake.
I feel the roar deep within my chest.
In the crowns of trees, birds cling to their nests.
Lightening slices through the night, bright as the noonday sun
signaling to all around–the storm has begun.
Giant raindrops gather and begin to assault the ground
Driven by an angry wind–pound, pound, pound.
The lake is now free, having thrown off the fog’s heavy weight
The waves build and breathe, demonstrating their strength.
Whitecaps fill the expanse as waves explode on the shore
Clawing, reaching, taking — ravenous for more.
The wind races unfettered–exuberant and wild
It howls and screams like an unruly child.
Gleefully it tears off limbs, throwing them to the ground
But it is the uprooting of lofty trees that make it truly proud.
The rain is relentless, saturating everything in sight
Riding the velocity of the wind, it bears its teeth ready to bite.
Its tenacious hands bind me in an unbreakable hold;
their icy chill sinks deep, introducing me to a new and debilitating cold.
There is no place to run, no shelter to be had.
As the storm rages around me, I wonder if I had been damned.
I am cut, bruised, and battered–desperate for an escape
I am cold, broken, and alone–reeling from the pain.
O Lord, I am afraid, help me endure to the end.
Give me the strength to stand; and these wounds, please mend.
I have no idea how long this storm will rage
But, Lord, I trust you and seek your face.
The wind and the waves are threatening all that is secure
Tearing up all that is good and just–all that is pure.
Lord, I am having a hard time finding which way is up
But when I look, I see You–please come and fill my cup.
Lord, You promised Your grace is sufficient for me!
Please walk on the water and clam this raging sea!
Lord Jesus, I believe You, I believe that You can.
Oh precious Savior, speak the Word, speak it now, Son of Man!
Ever been there? Me too. I wrote this a few years ago when I thought my world was falling apart. It felt like I was going to lose everything I held dear. It took all I had to cling to my Savior, and even then I felt like my grip was slipping. But you know what? His grip on me didn’t falter, weaken, or slip. He held me fast—and guided me through.
When that storm passed, I realized everything was still here–my world didn’t blow away. However, there was some damage that needed to be cleaned up.
Or was it damage?
Beloved, there are times we’re in a storm, and seems like limbs are mercilessly ripped from their trees and thrown to the ground. And stately trees are knocked over like wooden toy blocks. It’s scary and disconcerting–
BUT maybe it’s for your benefit.
Sometimes branches need to fall because they’re deadwood. And their very presence invites insects and diseases that will threaten the vitality of the whole tree. Dear One, those branches must come down! And sometimes the only way to shake them loose is a storm.
Same with trees. Sometimes good ones fall, but more often than not, it’s those that are harboring a disease or have been damaged by insects. Their removal is unbelievably beneficial to the remaining trees for two main reasons:
- There’s less competition for nutrients and water—allowing them to flourish to their highest potential.
- There’s less competition for sun—allowing them to spread out and be more productive.
In both cases, the “damage” wasn’t really damage at all.
Storms can be for our benefit. God uses them to grow our faith. But He also uses them to remove anything not honoring to Him so we can flourish, become more vital in our calling; and, most importantly, so we can follow Him better.