Living in the high desert of New Mexico has its advantages:
Sunshine for 300+ days of the year.
Dry heat in the summer so it has to be over 90°F before you even start to feel hot.
Dry cold in the winter so it can be freezing and still feel warm in the sun as long as there’s no wind.
No mildew to fight in the shower…ever!
But as wonderful as sunny days are, it’s the rainy days and the winter snows that make the plants grow.
When you live in the desert, you pray for rain, and you give thanks when the storm clouds form and precious raindrops fall.
But what about the storms in my life that I never asked for?
We all have them. Perfect lives without problems are the stuff of fairy tales.
Rain is an inevitable part of living. Sometimes we only get sprinkles that dampen an otherwise lovely day.
Some are steady rains that make us wet and cold if we stay out in them too long, but they’re more of an inconvenience than a long-term problem.
But there are the thunderstorms of life with turbulent winds, pelting rain, and lighting flashes followed by peals of thunder where we feel the shockwave pass through us. Sometimes there’s hail that hurts even when it’s only the size of course sand. And when that swirling funnel appears and starts to drop…
Every storm we weather, be it gentle or category 5, is a blessing. Maybe not to us, but to someone who needs us to reach out in the midst of her or his storm to share how God has helped us through ours. When we’ve been through the storm ourselves, we can offer assurance that He’ll help them through theirs.
The Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians at the very beginning of his second letter that God uses our troubles to prepare us to help others.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV))
So the next time I’m in a storm that I never asked for and never wanted, I hope I’ll remember that my present troubles might prove a blessing if they make me better able to comfort someone else in the midst of the storm.
Have there been storms in your life that seemed terrible at the time but you now thank God for them?
Oh my, yes. We’ve been in a storm for a year! But honestly…I’m thankful for it. I’m learning to lean on my Anchor for His strength. It isn’t easy. It’s hard. But, giving it to God is the best solution.
So true that giving it to God is the best solution, even when it’s hard, Regina!
When I was eleven, my grandma died in a house-fire while the rest of us stood outside screaming, unable to get in and help her. It was a terrible storm I never expected, but it was the catalyst for my coming to faith and becoming a believer. So I’m not thankful she died, but I am thankful God used that in my life.
I can’t imagine how hard that must have been, Katie! I’ve only watched people I love die with cancer, but the strength of my dad’s and brother-in-law’s faith as they made that passage encourages me to this day.
What perfect timing for this post. God timing. My almost teen daughter is facing a medical situation that has her heartbroken. Plan to share this post with her and log this verse in her ‘Questions about God journal’. Thank you for this rich post.
I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s situation, Michele. Even with the perspective that comes from having lived long enough to see God bring blessing out of what seemed only horrible at the time, the storms can be so hard to bear. It’s even harder watching someone we love struggle with the question, “WHY?” Prayers for you both.