Broken and defeated, I lie in darkness staring up at shadows dancing across my ceiling, trying to imagine a God who would allow unbearable suffering to enter my life. What purpose could the awful pain I felt growing inside my chest serve… and how could I offer my undying loyalty to a being who invites heartbreak?
A single tear left the corner of my eye and made its way down toward my pillow. The sensation of its journey along the side of my face was the last memory I would have for that evening. I slipped into a deep sleep where I was welcomed by peaceful, unfeeling darkness.
I floated, unknowingly, in this darkness for 12 hours… At least that’s what my alarm clock would lead me to believe. I awoke to its siren feeling groggy to say the least. Sleep, it seemed was not the cure my body had been searching for.
I groped for the snooze button and attempted to slip back into my dark refuge for a few more moments, but as sleep began regaining its hold, I found myself standing in the middle of an open field while a fierce storm lit the sky and torrential rain poured over my scantily clad skin. I screamed at its icy touch and frantically searched for cover. There were no houses to run to… No trees to huddle under… There was only open field filled with lush, green grass soaking up the falling rain.
Unable to decide how to seek cover, I simply stood, rooted to the spot I had awoken in. There was, quite literally, nothing I could do at that moment to remedy my situation. Never mind how I arrived there in the first place or where “there” was… I felt absolutely helpless… Defeated…. Alone… Still, feeling sorry for myself wasn’t getting me anywhere so, I did what any human being who finds themselves in situations like this would do… I prayed. Short and simple... Straight to the point... I prayed for God to help me find my way home and out of this storm.
Then, just as suddenly as it had begun, the storm ceased. Golden sunshine danced on droplets of water left on each blade of grass. Dark clouds made way for blue sky. It was the single most beautiful moment I have ever witnessed in nature.
As I stood admiring my peaceful surroundings, a voice echoed through the retreating clouds.
“A storm is often the result of my arms reaching out to you.” The voice explained. “You see, as I draw you closer to me, the dark forces of this world surround you and attempt to pull you away. But, rest assured, if you cry out to me, those forces will scatter and my love will bathe you in sunshine and hope.”
I had questions prepared in my mind. I opened my mouth to voice the first, but was lifted away into my familiar darkness. My eyes flickered open and I found myself staring up at my paint-chipped ceiling.
I thought back to the pain I had been wallowing in the night before and I could see the truth as clearly as the sparkling droplets of rain from the field. It didn’t matter… None of it mattered. God’s truth is the only thing I need.
Sometimes it takes a storm to help you realize what’s really important.