Devotional: The Second Storm
Psalm 65 7- 8- who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, You call forth songs of joy. NIV
Do you, like me, have two storms hit your house every Christmas season? The first comes as I'm decking out the house, storing away regular pieces and bringing out Christmas decorations from the closet. Every table top is stacked with boxes. Sheets of newspaper pile up on the floor as I unwrap decorations and place them. The carpet is covered with glitter and lint. The furniture grows a thick layer of dust. It looks like a tornado has come through and it takes several days to get it all arranged and everything clean.
The second storm is like the first only in reverse. After Epiphany, in putting everything away, the house gets worse before it gets better.
Like the disarray at Christmas, life can be tumultuous as it steals the order of normalcy and drains the color from our world. We're dealing with one crisis when another slams through the door and sends us tumbling. There's a final exam before graduation and you aren't sure you passed. Then the new job you thought you'd landed falls through.
Bills pile up with insufficient money to pay them just before an unexpected illness keeps you out of work. Suddenly bankruptcy is staring you in the face. Your joy seems hidden beneath a layer of dread and fear.
Maybe a misspoken word starts an argument and hurt feelings grow into a suffocating blanket of resentment. Then unexpectedly the person dies and things can never be resolved. This is life. Sometimes things get worse before they get better.
The Bible gives us examples of this same scenario: When Moses went to Pharaoh and demanded he let the Israelite people go, the king of Egypt refused and said the people would now have to hunt for their own straw to make bricks and that they'd still be required to turn out the same number each day. When the foremen complained, they were beaten and sent back to work.
When Mordecai learned Haman has finagled a way to have all the Jews assassinated, he turned to Esther to intercede. Before her plans were complete though Haman erected a high pole to have Mordecai impaled the next day.
Upon Jesus' entry into Jerusalem for Passover, his disciples thought he was about to take power. Instead, less than a week later, he was crucified and buried.
As it turned out, Moses led the Israelite people out of Egypt and they carried plunder from the Egyptians. Mordecai was not impaled and his people lived. And Jesus rose from the dead and His disciples, emboldened, began to teach. Christianity grew and thrived.
Yes, the Bible says God can still the roaring seas and the turmoil of the nations. He’s with you when the blustering winds of life hit. He hears your prayers when you're discouraged and almost ready to give up. He offers a peace like non other when problems become too hard to bear. He can bring good out of bad and call forth songs of joy.
Merciful Father, thank You for watching over us and bringing peace and order during the midst of turmoil. We love You and praise You.