Storms Come and Storms Go
By Angela Posey-Arnold
"See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for He allows us to be called His children--think of it--and we really are!" (1 John 3:1 The Living Bible.)
I sit here this morning at my desk and look at a picture of myself and my husband made twelve years ago. I am amazed as I reflect upon all that has happened in our lives since then.
Recalling memories of the past, twelve years ago seems like another lifetime. Since that time we have been through an intensive and heartbreaking court battle, leaving part of our family in shambles. We survived a horrible wreck and its aftermath. Our family has experienced illnesses that took their toll on us all. There has been heartbreak of family division and the sudden unexpected death of a dear friend.
As I reflect on the trials, I realize after every trial came spiritual growth. After every pressing came blessing. Perseverance and faith in God's promises rang true each and every time. He never let us down, and our faith grew. We came through the storms, and on the other side of the storm was a rainbow and sunny skies, every single time.
In the trials and in the suffering we saw miracles, one after another. Maybe we did not see the miracle at the time it was happening, but in reflecting, the miracles were brought to light. It was a miracle just to have survived some of those things, but I am not surprised that we were brought through each trial. Coming out on the other side of each trial brought us closer to God. He promised He would be with us. He was. He never moved. No matter what life has thrown at us--God has kept His promises.
With each trial we had the choice of whether to turn to Him and trust Him or tread water in a desperate attempt not to drown. Too many times I first chose to tread water, leaning on my own understanding and strength. It was a bad choice every time. The bad choices were nutrients to my growth as a Christian. Through trials and tears I learned to pray first. Always pray first.
While going through the extremely difficult court battle with my husband's ex-wife, I felt like I was under attack. She was relentless in her aggressions, and I remember being on my knees in the bathroom of the court house praying for strength. Other than our pocket book being lighter for her efforts, we survived. We grew, learned and continued to love. God never put us down. He carried us right through it.
I am blessed with a family of missionaries. One year while they were on mission I found myself alone in the midst of a storm. Again, I was on my knees in a bathroom. (My husband says I could probably find a more sanitary place to kneel and pray.) This time the bathroom was in a hospital. My husband was having an emergency heart catheterization. I cried out to God again. He, so loving and kind, answered me. He strengthened me and carried me through to the other side of the storm. The doctor said that my husband had the cleanest pipes he had ever seen. The problem was misdiagnosed acid indigestion, praise God.
Have you ever watched a father and a child? The father picks up the child, the little one starts to squirm and is ready to go again. The father keeps his watchful eye on the child because he knows that, even though he must let the child learn by his own mistakes, he will stumble in fall. The father knows he needs to be there to catch the baby. It won't be long until the child stumbles and the father is picking him up again and again and again.
God is like that with us. He picks us up, and lifts us up when we go to Him. He allows us freewill, but keeps a watchful eye on us, knowing we will learn from our mistakes, but we will stumble. When we do, He is there. He sees us stumble. He hears our prayers. He picks us up, dusts us off and heads us in the right direction.
When life gets so heavy that we can't move, He is faithful. The miracle of it all is He is always there. Oh, I may lose sight of Him and try to fix everything on my own, but he understands. I think He just shakes His head and says, "There she goes again."
So when life throws me another curve, what am I going to do? Am I going to hit my knees first and turn to Him or will I worry, fret and freak out until finally, as a last resort, I fall on my knees and pray?
I think I will look back on all the times His love has seen me through. I have learned, but I hope next time I will seek Him first. Next time I will rest in His arms and quit squirming so much. In doing so, the next twelve years will be so much better.
Thank You God for Your everlasting love. I know that I am just as a child, lost without You. I am so thankful for Your love. It is awesome to know You are always there. Help me to always look to You first, knowing Your love is there, all I have to do is reach up. Wonderful it is to know I am a child of the King!! Glory and praise to You. In Jesus Holy Name I pray. Amen.
ANGELA POSEY-ARNOLD is a published Christian author and retired RN, living with her husband of 20 years in a log home in beautiful northwest Alabama. Her writing and music studio, Pebble East Studios, is located in the loft of the log home, and Angela says the peace and serenity of her surroundings are conducive to the pursuit of her passions--Christian writing and music. Angela has been widely published, with two Christian non-fiction books, many short stories, Christian articles, devotionals and poetry. Her work is also being published in a nursing professional anthology and other collections. Angela is also a regular contributing writer for the popular e-zine www.4Him2U.com. Her newest book is The Nightingale Protocol. To read more of Angela's work, please visit her website, http://www.angelaposeyarnold.com.