An Unexpected Storm

You are a refuge from the storm…
Isaiah 25:4 (NLT)

We’d been planning for months, and it was finally all coming together. Surveying the room, I mentally went through my list:

Candles? Check.

Flowers? Check.

Music? Check.

Taking it all in, my gaze settled on those helping us, each holding a special place in our family. My carefully contained emotions began to overflow: my throat tightened, heartbeat quickened, and then, suddenly, everything went black!

You thought I fainted, didn’t you? It wouldn’t have surprised me if I had; instead, out of nowhere, on the eve of my daughter’s wedding, a “historic” wind and rainstorm called a Derecho raged through our area, knocking out power for days, downing trees, blocking roads, and stripping roofs off buildings. We never expected the weather to impact our well-planned indoor wedding, but impact it, it did!

No one knew what to do. “How could this happen?” we asked each other. Remember the scared disciples on the lake? Looking back, as I stood inside the dark sanctuary while the fury of the storm continued outside, I’m afraid my reaction was an awful lot like theirs as the fury of my heart pleaded, “All our plans are going under! Don’t You care?”

“As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.’ But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, ‘Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?’ When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Silence! Be still!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” (Mark 4:35, 37-40, NLT)

Even though the storm had moved on by morning, I still didn’t think it would be possible, but I’m happy to say that against all odds and with a lot of help, the wedding went on. It was held in a different venue, miles from our hometown, later in the day, and with fewer people in attendance. Even so, vows were said, the cake was cut, and the newlyweds set off on their honeymoon.

Let’s face it, life’s not all smooth sailing.

Storms blow in when we least expect them. I don’t think any of us anticipated we’d be capsized by a pandemic right now, but even without that, illness, relationships, finances, disappointments, and so much more can come crashing at us out of nowhere. I find myself easily knocked off course and my faith struggles to stay afloat. Maybe you know exactly what I mean.

Will you step back into the boat with me one more time? The wind and waves battered the small vessel. Like we often are, the disciples were holding on for dear life and they struggled to find their “faith-footing” in the midst of the storm. Then, they remembered…

They weren’t traveling alone

They went to Jesus and that changed everything.

God is greater than any storm! Click To Tweet

Our lives are filled with lists to check, plans to make, people to love, and dreams to fulfill. Most of the time we cruise along; but then, sometimes out of nowhere, a storm rages, making waves we’re not prepared for. We suddenly find ourselves in the dark, not knowing what to do. Sisters, that’s when you and I must remember that we’re not traveling alone either:

“ ‘LORD, help!’ they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor!” (Psalm 107:30, NLT)

We can expect God to be with us in the unexpected. Click To Tweet

When I now look through the pictures from that hot, frantic, stressful day, I see beauty, blessings, and love. I like to retell this wedding story because today, it serves as a reminder that through it all—the storms and the stillness, the planned and the unplanned, the expected and even the unexpected…

God is always with us.

He cares and knowing that? Well, it changes everything for me. I hope it will for you, too.

Reflection Questions

Once we’re on the other side of a storm, we can often begin to see evidence that God’s presence was in the midst of it. Looking back, have you been through a challenging time when you now know God was with you through it all?

While writing this post, I came across a verse that’s new to me that I know I will go back to for reassurance. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (NLT) What are your go-to scriptures when you’re trying to keep your “faith afloat” or you need encouragement?

Prayer

Father, Thank You for loving us so much that You don’t leave us on our own. Let us feel Your presence, especially in the midst of the unexpected. I pray for any sister who may be standing in the dark right now, wondering what to do next. We know that You are greater than any of our storms. We call on You to calm our hearts, minds, and fears. Help us look for You in all our circumstances and know that through them, You’re guiding us to Your safe harbor. Amen.

6 thoughts on “An Unexpected Storm

Jodie

“They went to Jesus and that changed everything.” It does change everything, doesn’t it? As always, you have encouraged my heart, Cindy, and you made me smile.

Reply

    Cindy Wilkins

    Jodie, It definitely changes things and I’m finally learning to go to Him sooner rather than later! (Slow learner here) thank you for your kind words!

    Reply

Cindy K Krall

I’m echoing your prayers Cindy for any sisters that may feel they are in the dark right now. It can be so hard to truly believe He’s right there with us but your encouraging story reminds us…He truly is with us in the storm! Thanks for sharing your heart with us Cindy!

Reply

    Cindy Wilkins

    Yes, Cindy! And what a reassuring gift it is to know He is with us no matter what life brings! What a great thing that is to reminds each other of, especially in the storms! To God be the glory!

    Reply

Rebecca

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭55:22‬ ‭CSB‬‬

This one helps me remember he is in my court, I need not fear.

I do like the Zephaniah one too. Thanks for reminding me that even in the unexpected he is there!

Reply

    Cindy Wilkins

    Love this verse Rebecca! Such a great reminder that even in the unexpected we don’t have to carry our worries and concerns all on our own! Thank you so much for sharing! God bless!

    Reply

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