- Religion and Philosophy
The calamity after the storm
Waiting for the dust to settle in the desert,
for a sudden storm came and it all went berserk.
And now we know it's a lie, that there is piece in the eye.
For in the center we found no surrender.
We stood unarmed, surrounded by it's violence.
It's sinister rage only compounded by the silence,
of reason or explanation,
for the issue of this sinister invitation.
It is well known that the center of a tropical storm, 'the eye of the storm', is the safest place to be. It is the place of calmest weather. However, life's storms are not like that, and the center can be the the worst place to find yourself. It's at the center of life's storms that we find ourselves withered and feeling defeated, having been beaten mercilesely by the uncontroleable forces surrounding us. If you have felt like this before, or are feeling like this now then you can probably identify with this line of thought:
"My tears have been my food day and night...Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?...Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me..." (Psalm 42)
The Psalmist who wrote this had clearly been subject to some kind of suffering and felt powerless to overcome it. You may be familiar with that feeling too. Most of us are. But the good news is that there is a hope- but only the one, as this psalmist concludes in his writing:
"Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." (Psalm 42).
God is the all-seeing. all-knowing and merciful Father who sees and understands our sufferings. He alone is mighty enough to help us through them and restore our peace and wholeness again. But we must first turn to Him and put our faith in Him for Him to answer us, and take His sufferings upon Himself by carrying our burdens for us:
" “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:27)
At times we may wonder why we suffer. We may think that so many bad things have happened to us that we must be deserving of some kind of punishment? We may have a sneaking suspicion that it is Karma asking us to pay the bill for our wrongs. This is not the case! God does not work that way.This is proven by the fact that even the righteous suffer. Job was a man deemed righteous in the eyes of God and he suffered hurendous hardship. He lost his family, his livelihood and even his health became a source of misery to him:
"I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me".
We all must have our times of suffering. This is important because it bring's us closer to trusting God as we should and it makes us run back to Him when we are brought to realise we have been trying to do things in our own strength for too long, and it has simply just ran out.
If we have been living this way, then it is no surprise we have found ourselves at the center of one of lives storms. What do we do when we find ourselves in a storm? Well the Disciples found themselves in a storm once and the first thing they did was call on Jesus:
“Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”(Luke 8:24)
What did Jesus do??
"He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm." (Luke 8:24)
Can you imagine the shock of the disciples? One minute they were at the middle of a raging and violent storm. The winds were beating at their tiny boat and throwing them around in a stormy sea- and whats worse- the boat was filling with water! So they do what any of us should do. They run to the safety and hope of Jesus, and He speaks to the raging wind and waves and they all stop??
The disciples must have know then without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was able to save them no matter what the storm. No matter whatever the world would throw at them in life. The apostle Paul told the young Church at Ephesus the same thing too, knowing that they still needed to learn that God is completely powerful, completely able and completely willing to help us if we believe in Him and trust our lives to Him. He said God
'is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.'
and now to leave you with a final assurance from God which I always hold to in times of hardship and difficulty, when I find myself at the center of one of lives storms:
'The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still' (Exodus 14:14).
God bless you in your sufferings as well as in your joys, and may you out your trust fully in Him to keep you in all things.