Yesterday storms rolled into my area. The weather man predicted 4-6 inches of rain, winds up to 70 mph, and the threat of tornadoes. I woke up in a stormy mood. I had a large Mary & Martha event scheduled. High winds and rain at the peak of the event were not quite what I had in mind. My business partner and her husband are going through some life transitions, which include jobs. One of my best friends is having to defend her job of 25 years. I had not completed my weekend list of “to do” items and someone had backed out of an event schedule for down the road. Quite frankly I woke up in a stormy mood, mad at the day, mad at life and REALLY mad at God. I’d say I was just frustrated, but that would be a lie. My feet hit the floor and I let the grey skies, high winds, rain and thunder ease me into an overall bad mood. My thoughts were stormy.
Isn’t it amazing how quickly our thoughts can be taken captive, can alter the course of our day? Nothing went right. I spilled my coffee. I had to run a load of laundry a second time because I had forgotten it the day before. I barked orders at my kids, told my husband my story of doom and gloom which I was certain to be my day. Soon, my whole house was feeling a bit stormy. Not good for a Monday. Despite my mood, I knew the day had to carry on. I got my daughter started on her home school assignments and gathered up my supplies for the Mary & Martha event. The storm hit and much to the dismay of the weather men, it didn’t hit with the force they had predicted. We got some decent wind, and a fair amount of rain, with some booming thunder, but that was it. (unfortunately south of us did get the damaging wind and there was a fatality) I put a little praise music on in the car and began to pray. I’d love to tell you I prayed a beautiful prayer, but it was anything but. It went more like this, “God, what are you doing? I swear I am giving it everything I have to obey you and this is what I get? Seriously? A storm on a Monday morning when I have a full day? …” Not pretty. Real, but not pretty.
The day went on. The Mary & Martha event went great and in fact, I made a new friend and met some wonderful women. My daughter got all her stuff done and we got to go watch my niece play volleyball and win. All day long though, despite the fact that things were working out, I felt myself holding on to the storm. I kept thinking, “I want to quit this day, go home, crawl in bed and call a do-over.” It wasn’t until I had my pajamas on, a plate of warm chicken pasta and some Blacklist recording that I gave any real to thought to my thoughts and actions and the storm. Just the thought of rain and high winds had gotten me all upset, worried, fretting. The same happens in life with the metaphorical storms. The truth was, I wasn’t ready for the storm. I could have loaded my car the night before. I could have sought scripture to pray for my friends. I could have sought God’s wisdom and asked for direction for my business and business partner. I could have called upon my prayer warriors asking for their intercession (which I did, but not until after my bad mood had sat in), I could have laid it all at His feet. Instead I carried it. I carried it in my head. The thoughts took on a life of their own and became actions. When I lay them at His feet there is no time for anxious thoughts to grow. He fills my mind with His truth and promises.
I sat feeling ashamed of my choices. I sat realizing despite me, the day had gone well. God was still in control. My self-inflicted storm created as the result of negative thinking about a real storm was nothing compared to the storms so many of my friends are facing, storms raging across this world: cancer, persecution, death, hunger. No, my storm was really nothing more than a lack of faith, a pity party for myself.
Storms come. Storms are real. We often have reason to fear the storm. But storms should not ruin our day. They should not take our thoughts captive and push the truth far from our minds. Storms should give us perspective. They should be the reminder that we need God, we need friends, we need to be ready. Dark clouds lingered for a bit this morning, but then the skies cleared and the air was crisp. The sun sparkled off the rain puddles. A new day. A new perspective. Confession from my lips. Gratitude to those who stood in the gap for me. A lesson learned. A spirit strengthened.
Don’t let the storms alter your truths. Remember. Most of all, be ready. Time in His word. Share your needs and worries with Him. Allow others to intercede on your behalf. Rest in the quiet before the storm and then let Him and His truths see you through the storm.