Hope in the Storm

Life is full of surprises! Some of them are good and some of them are not. We get up in the morning, plan our day, anticipate what it will look like and then begin with optimism. Sometimes our intention to have a joy-filled, productive day turns out to be filled with unexpected stressors and interruptions. Other times our plans to have a restful day is bisected with less than restful events.

Stuff happens in this life. Unexpected stuff like accidents, illness, tragedy, and death to name a few. A couple of years ago I was painting a house we were getting ready to sell. I had come back from vacation all motivated to get this job done and the house sold. On the second day of painting my ladder slipped and I fell and broke my leg. I didn’t know for sure if it was broken or not but I remember lying on the floor looking up at the ceiling and thinking that I probably wasn’t going to get my painting finished that day.

That injury suddenly changed my life. I was in a cast for almost a year. And this is one of life’s easier trials! Persistent illness, losing close family members, and permanent handicaps are all things we struggle with in this life and that make it difficult to function. When faced with difficulty it is easy to question whether or not God is truly a God of love.

How do you face life’s difficulties and challenges? Ideally we don’t over-identify or generalize about anything that happens in our lives, but that is not usually the case. Being human we are prone to discouragement. When trouble arises in our lives it is the norm to despair and get down. Our first instinct is to question the goodness of God. “Why” is the question we ask? If I am “the apple of God’s eye” as the Bible tells me, why are bad things allowed to happen in my life?

Lucifer was the covering cherub, the angel who stood next to God, before he was thrown out of Heaven because of his pride and rebellion against the kingdom of love. His accusations against God were that the principles of love were not really loving, but were restrictive. He accused God of being exacting and selfish—the very qualities that existed in his own heart.

Things are no different today. The devil, as we now know him, uses the same lies to accuse God with as he did in heaven even though he is the instigator and author of the pain and suffering that we experience in this life. Because of our being born into a sinful world, it is in our nature to also question God with the very questions that Lucifer originally had towards God. “ Is God really loving?” “Does God really have my best interests in mind?”

Whenever we hear those thoughts coming from our hearts we can know that those are the very questions that were asked at the beginning of the rebellion against God. It is in our very nature to question the goodness of God. It is only by continually looking at the evidence we find in the scriptures and in the life of Christ that we can have peace in our hearts, knowing that God is indeed a God of love.

It is only through this lens that we can trust that no matter what happens in our lives, that through trusting in the grace and goodness of the power of Spirit, that we can make it through the difficulties and tragedies of life. After a storm we see the rainbow of promise in the clouds. Each time I reminded that in this world I will experience many storms but in the midst of them, I can always find the rainbow of promise of God’s love.

Whenever you are faced with one of life’s many challenges—look for the rainbow—the promise of God’s love.