This morning I pulled back my curtains to see the sun peeking through the clouds, it’s beaming light cutting through the haze. I threw on my tennis shoes and went for a run down to the beach. And about halfway there, it started to rain. And just as it did, the song I Am by David Crowder came on my iPod at random. And as it did the tears poured down my face. The song goes:
“I am holding onto you. In the middle of the storm, I am holding on. I am.”
In my life I have surely experienced many seasons of storms, as I’m sure you have, too. Some storms have been greater than others. Some storms have lasted longer than others. But there have been storms nonetheless.
In certain ways – despite all the glorious wonder and grace of this season – I have even found myself feeling as if I am in the middle of a storm lately. This busy season of trying to plan a wedding, trying to figure out health issues, trying to be a good fiancé, trying to do ministry well and so much more have left me feeling as if at times I am running. I have found myself, feet pounding the pavement at an ever slowing rate as I become tired and weary on the road that seems long before me… and then on top of all of that, it starts to rain.
“That’s just great,” as the inside joke in my family goes.
The lyrics of that song were so encouraging to me today. I felt God reminding me that He is holding onto me in this “storm” (and this isn’t even a grand storm in the scheme of life and compared to what many of you may be going through.) And not only that, but I also felt him reassure me that He has held onto me in the storms through which I have trudged in the past, and that He will faithfully continue to do so throughout those that I know will come in the future.
“I can see the dawn is breaking; I am feeling overtaken with your love.” – The Afters, You Lift Me Up
“There’s no place that we can’t find peace.” – Crowder, I Am
What was so neat about the storm today was that no matter which direction I ran, I could see a break in the clouds with blue sky. It gave me hope for relief from these incessant rain drops that made it difficult for me to see. I fixed my eyes on the light of the clearing, and it encouraged me to run even faster and harder toward it.
And that’s what Jesus does in our lives. He gives us hope of relief in the middle of the storms of our lives.
Sure I may have been rained on a bit, but I was not drenched, I was not soaked, my iPod wasn’t ruined. I made it to the clearing both once I got down to the beach and again as I neared my home on my the way back. In the same way Jesus will provide us with not only the hope we need of a clearing toward which we can run but also the strength and ability to do so, to put one foot in front of the other, to carry on in the direction of the path that leads to Him.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7
Life is full of sprints we must make through the rain, but God is there right next to us, running with us to the very end.
“I know you are with me to the very end.” – Will Reagan, To The Very End
“Oh, I’m running to your arms.” – Hillsong, Forever Reign
And He has the power, will, and goodness to use all sprints through the storms in our lives for His good, for His glory as we are strengthened with endurance and perseverance, as we are examples of His love to others.
“Even when the rain falls… even when the storm comes, I am washed by the water.” – Needtobreathe, Washed by the Water
“I’m running back to all I have in You, my gracious King.” – Shane and Shane, That’s How You Forgive
“Even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life, I won’t turn back; I know you are near.” – Matt Redman, You Never Let Go
He won’t let go of you. Don’t let go of Him. Continue to run straight into His arms. And remember: sometimes it’s in the very midst of a storm that we experience God the most.