Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: STORM (10/05/17)
TITLE: What is a Storm?
By Martha Kinney
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The definition of storm is any disturbed state of the environment that is marked by a significant disruption to normal conditions. It may have the potential to harm lives and property. I bet you find the idea of such an event as not very good. But give me a chance to convince you otherwise.
Our lives are marked with times of storm. Times when things seem out of control and we feel threatened. None of us escape from these times, but perhaps God has a better plan for them. We all know and often quote Romans 8:28. 'And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.'
Let's take a closer look to understand how it relates to the storms of life. First, nothing in this verse that say that the 'all things' are only those that are good. That little word 'all' includes every event that occurs in life. Some of them are definitely not good.
How is the end result good? God takes whatever comes into our life and uses it to have something good come out of it. Perhaps storms help us see areas in our life where we need to remove negative attitudes or actions, or identify things out of date.
I live where we had a terrible forest fire years back. Many homes were destroyed but from those ashes came many new homes where ones dated back to the 1920s. Also, the idea of not allowing homeowners to thin the trees on their property added to the difficulty of getting control of the fire. Now with new and better guidelines we keep the forest healthy and avoid such devastating fires in the future. The original event was a fire storm but the end result was good for many impacted by the fire.
'Those who love God' does not mean God only helps Christians. It identifies the fact that those of us who know God tend to invite Him into our life storms. Also, we should be active in intercessory prayer for those who do not know Him. God does not force His way into our lives, He waits for an invite. God has limited Himself by giving us free will. We often pray for the sick because we think their current condition may make it hard or impossible for them to pray. How much more important that we pray for those facing the storms of life; especially if they do not know God.
The last of this verse talks about God's purpose. And if we know anything about God we know His purpose is to save everyone and give all a life of blessing. This seems to me this verse gives us pause to consider that there may be something better for us as we weather the storms of life especially if God is invited into middle of it.
Early in our marriage we had a late term miscarriage. We were devastated and wondered why God would let this happen to us. For many years we had no answer. But nearly 10 years later I was the president of a women's group in Germany. Many were young American wives whose husbands were deployed in the Bosnia conflict. They were separated from family and spouse. The stress caused some of these women to suffer a miscarriage. They were hurting and without their comforters. That was when I saw that the pain we had been through allowed me to be surrogate mother to many of them. I knew what they were dealing with for I had been in that same storm.
A storm is any disturbed state of an environment; often marked by significant disruptions to normal conditions with the potential to do harm. Many things in life fit this definition but God has the desire and potential to take these storms and make the end result something good. We need to make sure God is involved in these times and watch for the good results.
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