Life has sure been a whirlwind lately. I knew this time of year would be busy (and emotional) but I don’t think I truly understood the extent.
My baby girl graduates in less than a month. And with that comes so many “lasts.” Her last musical. Last recital. Last concert. We had the prom this week. And soon enough, she will walk down that aisle and get her diploma. And a brand new chapter will begin. This life as we know it will change. It is a good change, but it will change nonetheless.
Last night the weight of it all was weighing on me as I went to sleep. And I was starting to feel anxious. I laid in my bed and prayed, and just surrendered it all to God. I prayed and just kept saying the name of Jesus over and over in my head. Sometimes that is all I can do to keep the negative thoughts out.
“Jesus. Jesus Jesus.” I repeated it over and over until I finally remember saying, “I surrender it all to you.” (my palms up prayer 😉 )
I fell peacefully asleep and within just a short time, was awoken by the loudest thunder I have heard in a long time. It literally shook my house. Followed by another monstrous sound. And another shaking of the house. And another. Then the downpour of rain. It was quite terrifying.
My phone buzzed and when I grabbed it, there was a weather emergency alert. It actually said, “Severe thunderstorm warning- a severe storm is spotted over Hope.” (that’s my town!) Now, normally these alerts come and the severe storm is in the area. This one particularly said it was directly over my town. (Which I already knew when I heard that thunder.) I am surprised it didn’t say… “the storm is located over Love’s Farm!” Because that is truly what it felt like.
And then I was even more scared. What about the peaceful prayers I prayed before falling asleep…surrendering to Jesus? And this is what followed?
I prayed all the more while laying in bed. I felt the spiritual battle for my mind was being played out, right there outside my window. The roaring winds and rain. The beating down on my roof, the loud thunder, the bright lightning. It was far from comforting.
I couldn’t sleep for hours. I prayed through hit, but it was a long night.
This morning I awoke to cool air…the kind that comes after a storm. The sun rising. The air was still outside. It was peaceful. It was quite the opposite of what went out on just hours before.
I started to have thoughts about why on earth did I have such a tumultuous night after praying that prayer of surrender. What was God telling me? Or was Satan really going after me?
Then it hit me, ever so peacefully.
Even in the storms. Especially in the storms. That is true surrender.
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind…” Job 38:1
Sometimes I surrender it all and then think that all will be easy. But that’s not true surrender. True surrender means trusting Jesus when the winds are swirling and the thunder is roaring. When say it, I must truly mean it. In all things.
Because quite frankly there will always be battles raging. Until Jesus returns and takes us home to an eternity where He reigns forever, the battles here will still rage. And that is where the surrender wins. We surrender knowing that can mean a storm may come. A battle may brew. The winds will swirl. But Jesus is right there in the midst of it all. And you can have peace surrounded by a storm.
The truth is life is not defined by our circumstances, but Who is in our circumstances. And God is sovereign and supreme and rules over all the earth. The storms, the still, and everything in between. So if I am going to trust Him, He showed me last night, then I must trust Him completely. Not just when things are going my way. To trust Him means even if a storm rages, I stand firm because He is in the storm.
It is not our circumstances that bring us peace but knowing who God is, knowing that He is in control of every detail, is where our peace comes from.
That storm last night taught me much. That the next few months may be full of ups and downs, but praying for them to stay calm isn’t the answer. The answer is to have peace even if there are storms, knowing that God is so much bigger than all of it.
Walking through a storm with Him is greater than having no storms without Him.
I encourage you to read Job today. I just did. And was reminded just how magnificent God is. We are so small. He is the Creator and the One who ordains every single thing. I have no place to question my circumstances. Just to trust Him in them.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Dress for action[a] like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
7 when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8 “Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
9 when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
11 and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
13 that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.
16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
20 that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
21 You know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!
22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war?
24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
25 “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
and a way for the thunderbolt,
26 to bring rain on a land where no man is,
on the desert in which there is no man,
27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
and to make the ground sprout with grass?
Then Job answered the Lord and said:
2 “I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 ‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
6 therefore I despise myself,
and repent[a] in dust and ashes.”