Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Storm before the Calm

God is after something in all of us, and until He gets that something, our lives can be p-r-e-t-t-y stormy!

Now don’t misunderstand. God is not bent over heaven, throwing down lightning bolts at the base of our heels, trying to bully us into walking the straight and narrow. Far from it! Sometimes we interpret the dealings of God in our lives as something negative and unfair, but what we must all come to terms with is that God is always in the process of refining and consecrating us as His sons and daughters, conforming us into the express image of Himself.

My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Hebrews 12:5b-6, KJV).

Sometimes we get the notion that God has us in a choke-hold position, tapping His foot, just waiting for us to yell “Uncle!” But that is not the case at all. God grieves over our willful and stubborn ways. He allows us to make our choices, and then watches from a distance, with eyes of compassion and a heart that breaks. He longs for us to recognize that we are helpless and totally undone without Him.

I once heard a person say, “All of us, in our natural state, are just like wild stallions, and until we are completely broken, we are incapable of being fully used by God.” There within a confined and dusty stable, the grueling process takes place. The one-on-one fight for domination can seem, by the average spectator, to be an unrelenting struggle, a futile fight to the very end. The violent bucking, thrashing, and kicking, and shrills of agony are almost too much to witness.

But none too soon, the exhausting match is finally over, the horse quietly succumbs to a place of humble submission, and then a beautiful sight begins to unfold. Gradually, as the animal becomes more and more responsive to the voice and the lead of his master, a metamorphous of a new nature emerges, one that is so sensitive that it becomes possible to guide this stallion by reins made out of mere silk threads. The horse’s senses are so fine-tuned to his master’s desires that all that is needed is the slightest turn of the wrist, a pull of the silken thread, and the horse obediently follows.

When we begin to see the wisdom and insight of God’s ways in our lives, it might take a season, or sometimes even a lifetime, before we come to terms with the fact that God will use anything and everything to bring us to that prayer of surrender, the place of saying, “No longer my will, but thy Will be done.”

I’ve learned the hard way that it is usually the “war of the wills” portion of my own life where the most severe and intense battles take place. Oh, how we want to stay in control, when all the while God is saying, “I don’t want to have to allow another Northeast wind to blow into your life in order to get you to release your hold on that situation. I long to bring peace to every storm that has been raging within you. Allow Me to speak ‘Be still’ to every tempest and wave of adversity that pounds against your soul. Come and release to Me now the full reins of your life so that I may lead you to the lush green valleys of peace where the waters run deep and still, where there is a welcomed and restful calm after the storm.”

Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him” (Matthew 8: 26b -27, NIV)!

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