Because We All Have Storm Stories To Tell

Written August 12, 2012.

The floods brought about by the Storm-With-No-Name monsoon in the past week obviously affected the lives of countless people. Some lost their homes, their possessions, their livelihoods. Some lost a friend, a neighbor, a loved one, a beloved pet. Maybe some out there also lost a little bit of faith, of hope.

For the fortunate ones, the nasty weather meant nothing but a little inconvenience, an excuse to miss school or work and stay home in a warm, dry bed, watch TV or tinker with the laptop all day (Guilty!). We watched the news with a mixture of horror and sympathy as brown waters engulfed countless towns and provinces, and we wished we could do more for them than a couple of prayers and some bags of old clothes and canned goods.

The message in the service today really touched me. This is not the first and last storm that will come. And this is not the only storm we will encounter in our lives. Even in sunny weather, we are constantly beset by other “storms,” big or small: problems at home, pressure at school, issues at work, heartbreak, broken relations, rocky friendships, financial woes, wavering faith.

Pastor Adrian’s question struck me hard: What do you do when a storm hit you?

Difficult times like these always bring out a myriad of reactions from us. We panic at the first sign of trouble and immediately ask for help. We get scared and angry and ask the heavens, why do these things happen to us? That was how I normally reacted before whenever things become rocky or they don’t go the way I planned them to. “Ano ba naman yan God, problema na naman? Hindi pa nga tapos yung huli, meron na naman bago?”

I’m a fairly young Christian, but even before, I was taught to trust in God, to trust in Jesus. Nowadays, even as I continuously work on building my relationship with Him, I still fall into the trap of worrying. Sometimes, I’m still afraid. I have to constantly remind myself to trust that He is in control. God is indeed bigger and stronger than my “storms.”

At the same time that the heavy rains were drenching almost everything in its path and wreaking havoc in cities and towns, I was also trying to weather some personal storms: a strong wind of obedience to Him but which hurt someone I love and respect; whether to take refuge from a steady downpour of affection from someone that both delights yet confuses me at the same time; the constant thundering of uncertainty in my career and wrestling with the long-overdue decision of whether to finally step out of my comfort zone.These storms are still raging inside me as I write this, and they won’t just dissipate any time soon. But knowing that I am not alone in this keeps me going.

In Matthew 8:23-27, “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!'”

I remember when Ging was younger. Like any typical kid, she used to be very afraid when there’s a storm and sharp lightning bolts would slice the sky and the loud grumble of thunder would immediately follow. She would jump in bed with me if at home, or would scoot close to me and hug me if we happen to be outside. She was scared but as long as I was there to hold her, she would be fine. She trusted in me not to let anything bad happen to her.

I pray that I would be like this with Jesus more often. That when a storm hits me, when I feel uncertain, inadequate or desolate, I will be as calm as He is. The Bible says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.”

When faced with a storm, it doesn’t matter where I am, but who I’m with.

*Illustration from Google. No copyright infringement intended.