As I laid down staring at the ceiling from my dorm bunk today, the rain and winds pounded on the windows and rattled the air vent. I couldn’t nap. I just listened. The leaves were being thrown and nothing outside was “safe” from being taken up by the winds unless it was securely rooted to the ground. All was being displaced. That’s what storms do. They rain down their power and change everything in the landscape. No leaf remained where it had fallen. A perfectly calm world from hours before had been turned into a violent battlefield of nature. Rivers began to overflow and the trees swayed in response to the turbulent skies. Cracks of thunder established the storm’s dominance. Its presence was undeniable.
But as I continued staring up at the ceiling, I realized that this chaotic shift of the landscape was not destroying it. It was purifying it. It was making way for NEW growth. The world often gets too comfortable in the sunny days. We forget to value them because we never expect them to change. But we also forget that in order for even better things to come about, the old must first be uprooted to make space for the new. We must be radically shaken up. Otherwise, we would never grow or change. We would stay stagnant- just like those fallen leaves. But with the world thrown into chaos, the dead fallen leaves are removed- allowing for more light to reach the places that were once hidden under their shadow. And when light accompanied by rain reaches the darkness, new LIFE is able to occur.
Notice that light alone isn’t enough to create new life. Rain is necessary. It purifies the landscape and nourishes it with what it needs to grow. Our souls are the same. We cannot function without accompaniment by both the light of Christ and the inconvenient rain from the storms of life.
And I’ll be honest with you. I am in a storm right now. My best friend is in the hospital for reasons I would rather keep private. Finals are looming and there’s also just a LOT going on. It’s hard. I find myself clinging to God, but also struggling to hold on. The storm is threatening to take me out with it. But God is still so good. He is here. He reminded me of this tonight at Wesley, the student ministry I attend here on campus. Storms don’t feel good, but they are good for us….especially when you are reminded that our Lord ALMIGHTY God is also FOR US. That means that God wants what’s best for us. But that doesn’t mean He isn’t hurting with us. He knows how we feel. He is here to not only guide us through the storm, but USE it for His greater glory and our good. He has a purpose for our pain if we would just let go of our own expectations and hold onto Him. He is doing a new thing in us through the storms. He is making a way in the wilderness…a river in the wastelands. Georgia was in a drought…but the rain is now reviving the lands. When touched by light and heavy rain in the midst of an internal dry season, our hearts can be affected the same way. The circumstance may feel scary, but God provides revival in the rescue.
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”