I recently went camping for the first time. You don’t have to have been camping to know that rain is not ideal. On our third and final night, there was a huge storm.
I laid there in my one person tent with sounds of booming thunder overhead and only a thin sheet of plastic separating me from a torrential downpour. Flashes of lightning illuminated the night sky – and inside of my tent – like bright flashbulbs.
I checked the time: 2:23am.
In that moment I could have easily grumbled about interrupted sleep. I could have easily wished away that storm for a clearer night and more peaceful rest. Yet I felt God’s presence in such a vivid and tangible way, I couldn’t help but be grateful for that storm.
The storms of this life are not always ideal. It seems the trials we encounter, heartbreaks we face, and struggles we experience never come when we are ready for them. They never come when we are safe at home with a roof overhead, as we wake up rested from our third REM cycle.
The storms of this life seem to come when we are at our most vulnerable, feeling tiny and alone in a one person tent in the middle of the night. That’s how Satan strikes. When it’s dark. When it’s cold. When we’re tired. That’s how he tempts. That’s how he attempts…
But while he may attempt, he doesn’t have to succeed. Because even in the midst of the storms of this life – though not ideal – if we keep our perspective and remind ourselves of Truth, we can see, feel, and experience God in such incredible and profound ways. Right in the midst of those storms.
That night I felt both a fear of the power of the Lord that I was so vividly and vulnerably witnessing – the thunder a seeming expression of His great anger with our sin, selfishness, and suffering. Yet I also felt in that same expression of power such great love and comfort knowing that our God is a loving and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love (Psalm 103:8).
So I will take that healthy dose of fear right alongside that peaceful feeling as I allow His love to wash over me.
I wouldn’t have traded that storm for the best night of sleep. I wouldn’t have traded it for being dry as we folded up our tents. And I wouldn’t have traded it for clean feet that didn’t sink into mud as we packed our cars. Because I felt my heart sinking into Jesus’. I felt His presence raining down on me. And I felt energized and impassioned by His Spirit.
And so, for that, I say…
Bring the rain.
“And I will praise you in this storm.” – Casting Crowns, Praise You in This Storm“A starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead.” – Nichole Nordeman, Gratitude“The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” – Isaiah 51:11