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Weathering the Storm

Scott Taube

A few hours ago, I fell asleep to the pitter-patter of rain on the roof. Now I lie in bed, awakened by the rumble of thunder in the distance. I open my eyes. Mila, my five-year-old, twelve-pound Jack Russell Terrier, is sitting on my chest, her worried brown eyes staring into mine. Her entire body is shaking. Mila hates thunder.

I’ve tried all kinds of things to calm her down. I play music, sit with her in the bathtub, let her hide under the bed. I’ve even built elaborate blanket forts where she could retreat and feel safe. Nothing works. I’m left with a shaky mess of a dog at my feet, begging me to make it stop and to make her feel safe again.

Mila is inconsolable. I’m equal parts heartbroken and frustrated. I wish she could understand that she’s safe and that I would never let anything bad happen to her. I wish she could reason that since she was safe in every other storm, she’ll be safe in this one. Yet no matter how many storms she gets through safely, she freaks out during the next one.

Mila’s fear of storms is a lot like my fear. I’m brave during thunderstorms; but dealing with other issues in my life, I turn into a shaky mess of a human being. I can’t be consoled when I’m afraid about the future. No blanket fort will stop my worrying about money when the rent is due and my bank account is looking grim. How frustrated must God be? As I look up with big, worried eyes and ask God to make everything OK, God must look back at me with heartbroken frustration—the same feelings I have for Mila on a stormy night.

Reason should work the same way for me too. Sure, the future is uncertain and scary; but if I look to the past and to all the times God has brought me through difficult situations, I should see that I’m going to be fine this time as well. But relying solely on faith isn’t easy. Doubt creeps in, preying on my insecurities; and before I know it, I’m hiding under the bed, paws over my eyes, waiting for the storm to pass.

When I feel the first hint of fear, I try to head it off by meditating on Isaiah 41:10 (NIV): “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God, who loves us, watches over us and protects us. Sure, life is hard, unpredictable, unpleasant, and down-right scary at times. But instead of shouting, “God, why won’t you fix this? Why won’t you make this pass?” we need to press into the Lord. We need to acknowledge that God is ultimately in control and to trust that God will bring us through—just as God has kept us safe in the past.

 

DIG DEEPER

Make a list of situations in which you were scared. Then write about how each of those situations was resolved. How did God bring you through? Are you stronger because of what you went through? What did you learn? The next time you are afraid, revisit these thoughts.

 

Be sure to listen to CLOSER by Philmont!

Scott Taube resides in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife and dog. He spends most of his time fronting the Christian Pop/Rock outfit Philmont and has had a passion for writing since he was a kid.

—from devozine (January/February 2012). Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved.

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