Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Craving The Storms

Seven years ago I joined an amazing Bible study group that was held weekly at a local church.  I looked forward to Tuesday's when I could see my "group" again and share what God has been placing on my heart.  You see, about a year and a half prior to this group, I had re-dedicated my life to Christ.  In other words, I've always been a Believer just not a really good Follower for Christ.

I'll never forget one Tuesday morning, we just sat down in our little room in the church with our Bibles open ready to share God's word. I can't remember which passage we were discussing, however, I do remember sharing with my friends the fear I was having in regards to Sean's possible diagnosis of autism.  I remember sharing my faith in God and how He will get us all through this.  I remember humbling myself in front of them all in hopes to have some encouragement.  One girl immediately spoke up and shared something that I could not understand at that time.

She said, "I know you are going through a "storm" right now.  Just remember during the storms is when you are closest to God.  He shares with you some incredible blessings during this time.  As crazy as this may sound, when I'm not in a storm or heading into one, I kind of crave the storms."

My response was, "here, take mine.  You can go through this for me."

What I didn't see at that time is what I see now.  My friend was right.  You are closest to God during your storms.  You feel His presence during your struggles more than you do any other time in your life, if you let Him in.

This week's reading reminded of the day my friend told me that she craved the storms.  

"Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.  Instead, be very glad because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world."  1 Peter 4:12-13

In that moment, my friend's faith was so much stronger than mine.  I couldn't see past my own suffering to see the blessings that will come from me getting close to God.  I was "surprised" by my trials instead of being thankful that Christ was beside me to help me through it.  It wasn't the storms themselves that she craved, it was the amazing blessing and closeness that she felt towards God during these times that she craved.

It's important for us to remember what Peter says in 1 Peter 4:12-13.  Let's not be surprised by our sufferings.  Instead, let's seek Christ during these times to help us through them.  Let's always search for that closeness to Christ whether we are in a storm or not.

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