Steady in the Storm, Chapter Ten: Approaching Storms
“When the storm rages and the sea is rough and you cannot see the land anymore and the sky is so black you wonder if the sun even exists or if you will see it shine again, this is when it is hard to acknowledge the goodness of God. This is when your faith is challenged and you cry out wondering why you have been abandoned.”
Sometimes when I have conversations with people about the grit of life I find myself giving the advice I’m currently working through myself. I listen to myself verbal process and in that moment I’m sorting through the cobwebs of my own brain, coming to conclusions that I myself also need to hear.
For the past few New Years Rhett and I have sat with friends and asked God for a word or vision for the up and coming year. A couple years ago Rhett had an image of a foundation, that his year would be a foundational year. We thought that was pretty encouraging, as we had just been married and it seemed fitting for us to build our foundation as a married couple. Our interpretation was very wrong. The following year would be a stripping down to the foundation. A removal of everything we thought we were relying on to reveal what was truly left.
I’m sure a lot of people can relate with this feeling. You stepped into 2020 with your goals, your plans, your dreams of foundational building, only to realize this was actually a year where you would be challenged, tested and stripped down to your foundation. Now what?
The conversation of, “When will the hardship end?” has been a recurring one for me. I’m not sure if I’m the one that keeps brining it up, or if it’s the people around me, but either way, I keep finding myself talking about this. The last few years have been tough for Rhett and I, and just when we felt like we were getting it together, 2020 hit. Will it ever end? This conversation seems to work it’s way down to, no it will not end, this is life. Life is full of tribulation and difficulty. The question is not when will it end, the question is how do you find the peace, strength and joy in the midst of it?
The foundation of the house is the most important. A hurricane can wipe away the whole house, but the foundation will remain. If the foundation is solid, you can always rebuild. What is your foundation made of? What are your cornerstones?
I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, if I lost it all would I be ok? I’m not just talking about possessions, wealth or a physical house, but what if I lost my community or my family? I know, these are deep questions, but I’m trying to get down to my foundation. When I ask myself who I rely on, who I’m trusting in or where my source comes from, who or what comes up? I’ve been having to tell myself a lot lately that it’s not Rhett I have faith and trust in, it’s God. Because if I lose Rhett then what happens?
When I think about Rhett being my source, who I trust when things get hard, fear and anxiety come up. I don’t think that’s because I’m afraid of Rhett or because Rhett is not trustworthy, I think it’s because my soul knows I’m looking to the wrong place for my security. When I tell myself that God is my source, a firmness and peace rests in my soul, because my soul knows this is a cornerstone that will weather the storm, this is a foundation that can be rebuilt on if all else is lost.
What are you relying on? Your job? Your family? Your government? Your savings? Your own knowledge and strength? Your health? Your community? Can these things weather the storm?
We live in an extremely anxious and fearful society. We are frantic for someone else to take over and tell us it’s going to be ok. We look to ourselves, trying to manage everything going on in our lives, only to find our bodies giving out on us, begging us to slow down. We don’t have what it takes to keep up. We look to governments and leaders to tell us what to do, keep us safe and manage our households when the ends don’t meet, only to find out that the help ends and they aren’t really the solution for us anyway.
What are your cornerstones? When all the chaos of life is removed, and you’re left with just your thoughts, what are you relying on? If you’re stripped down to the foundation, can you rebuild?
I talked in another post about how God is ok with your storm. He’s ok with us going through hard things, because it’s only the tough stuff that brings us to a place where we begin to disassemble our lives and sort out what really matters from the stuff we use to distract. 2020 has been a year of disassembling and a lot of people are realizing they don’t have a lot to stand on. It’s bringing people to their end. As people of faith in Christ it’s our job to tell them there is hope at that end, that there is a foundation worthy of storms and strong enough to rebuild on if all else is lost. The hardships are when followers of Christ should shine, we should be reaching out to those who are breaking and showing them that peace can be found in the midst.
I know I have been a terrible example of God’s peace this year, but I’m learning too. When I sit with myself and really explore the chaos going on right now, when I take myself down to that foundation, I know it will be ok. I have a peace, I see God’s face and he is calm, smiling even, because he knows his plan is sovereign. His plans are my cornerstones, his peace is my foundation. I’m training my brain to accept what my soul already knows. I’m making sure my foundation is strong.