The following is a narrative illustration of the impact trials can have on our lives, as well as the redemption that comes from finding a safe haven in Jesus:
It swirls around me and it brews with such a ferocity and power that I can barely see where I am going. I am surrounded. It attacks me from every side begging me to surrender. To drop to my knees and let it take me into its depths. Into an abyss of despair. Of doubt. Brokenness. Unworthiness.
I am threatened, seized with fear, and on the RUN.
But where is there to run in this mess? Everything is falling. I am falling. My feet are caught. I can’t go anywhere. I am stuck. Stuck in my troubles. Slowly being crushed by my fears. There’s nowhere to go. It’s a state of pure desperation. Even though I am not, I feel blind. And honestly, in this moment I would rather be blind. I would rather not see anything so I can pretend in my mind that everything is fine. The storm doesn’t exist. I don’t exist. Nothing exists.
But then I sense it.
There’s something coming. I can feel it. I don’t need eyes to see it.
The atmosphere is beginning to change. But the rain is too thick to even get a glimpse. So I move. My senses are suddenly revived. Whatever is out there, I want it. More than anything I have ever wanted before. Without realizing it, my feet are freed. I begin to push back against the heavy gray mist. Still, the whipping winds put up a fight. I am tempted to turn back. Why am I going towards something I don’t even understand? But then I see it moving toward me. My doubts begin to melt and trickle away as curiosity and wonder takes its place.
I break into a run.
And at last, I come to a clearing, a crossroads of sorts. I am just on the edge of the darkness. It is there that I see what I have been fighting to seek. It’s another storm.
It asserts its dominance by cracking thunder that shakes the whole earth with a mighty roar of redemption. Infinitely larger than the storm I now stand on the edge of, I can feel it calling to me. It’s not audible like the thunder, but yet it speaks louder because it’s amplifying a message into my heart:
“You are loved.”
“YOU are loved. You ARE loved. Yes, you are LOVED.”
I don’t understand it because I don’t understand why. I am coated with mud and my face is covered in ash. My feet are scraped from being caught and my heart is blackened from being broken. Who would want to love this mess? Who can speak love into a heart like mine? I am like shattered glass…unable to be put back together. Don’t waste your time.
But I run anyways. It moves quicker in order to meet me. And it is then that this new irresistible storm and I collide.
What a beautiful collision.
Of me and all these things I can’t comprehend: grace, mercy, love, beauty, redemption, peace, and unexplainable joy.
How can a storm with such power bring such goodness? How can LOVE be a storm? It takes me up. I let it take me. I surrender. I let go. I fall. I fall to my knees. However, it is not fear that then seizes me or brokenness that devours me. The rain falls but I embrace every single drop. I am being cleansed. The strong winds move me, but I let them. I do not fear their intentions any longer. An abyss no longer waits. I am being led. I am pushed towards the center. The eye of the storm.
I stand in awe at how the wind and the rain surrounds me but doesn’t touch me anymore. All is calm. I am surrounded by a living and active storm thrashing its power, but I am also protected by it.
My clothes are sopping wet, but perfectly washed by the rain.
In a pond I see my reflection, but my ashen face is no more.
I see beauty.
For the first time in a long time.
Uncorrupted because it is purely loved.
And I love it too.
I love who I am now because I know who I am: REDEEMED. forgiven. loved. cherished. chosen.
I once was lost, but now I’m found. I am still living in a storm, yes. However, this one’s strength is enough to conquer any storm that threatens to compete with its dominance. It overtakes all hurricanes in its path. And most of all, this I know is true: within this storm I now do live, there is nothing greater than the eye. By the eye of the storm, God allows me to see the rest of the world through the lenses of His love that now surrounds me. He gives me peace when the winds are raging and an eye for where true beauty is found.
In the eye of the storm.
In the eye of His love.
When we peer into the world and see it like God does, everything is transformed.
God is love. And love is a storm: God is all powerful and so is His love. It is constantly moving and shaping the world around us. When you allow yourself to be taken into the eye of God’s storm, not only will you be cleansed of your sins, but given peace amidst chaos and joy amidst sorrow. The storms of life are traps, but God’s storm comes in and breaks you free. You only need to seek, have faith, and RUN to Jesus with all you have.