Gulley-washing rains have plagued parts of the country during the past months, leaving a path of destruction behind in many areas. Lives have been lost and property has been destroyed due to the flooding.
Living close to the lake, I’ve seen the aftermath. My house is on higher ground but some of my neighbors have had to contend with rising water because their homes are lakefront property. One neighbor has even been fishing off his front deck, and a road running in front of his property is no longer passable.
While on my daily walk through the neighborhood, I’ve watched as the rising waters have left the neighborhood lakeside picnic area unusable. The three concrete picnic tables and the large fire pit were swallowed by the rising lake levels.
When the rain abated for a week, the tops of the picnic tables came into view, as did part of the fire pit. The torrential rains returned and they disappeared once again. Now, as the water begins to recede, driftwood debris graces the shoreline. Some of the pieces are beautiful, even with the ugliness left behind.
While I contemplated the mess left behind by the storms, I thought about the trials we face in life. They come and go, just like the lake water levels rising and falling with our capricious weather.
In the book of Mark, we read about a terrible storm. On a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee, the disciples were with Jesus when a “furious squall came up.” Among the 12 disciples were some seasoned fishermen but even they were afraid for their lives.
They wondered if God cared. After all, they had been handpicked by Jesus. They were His confidants, His closest friends. They had obeyed Jesus when He told them to “go over to the other side.” Why, now, were they going through such a turbulent time?
None of us is exempt from the storms of life. However, through the tough times, we can learn that no storm is too great to prevent God from accomplishing His will in our lives. While we may not understand at the time why the trials happened, we must thank Him that through them we can know Him better. Thank Him? For the trials?
James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Author Kay Arthur, says if we’ll quit moaning and crying, “God can use those things to make us into someone He can use in the lives of others to show them that no matter where they’ve been, no matter how deep the hole, no matter how painful the trial, there’s hope. There is victory.”
Trust God. He’ll use your trials for His glory.