The great irony of writing a blog dedicated to promoting happiness and positive thinking is that we don’t always feel that way. Sometimes life feels gloomy, and sometimes storm clouds gather on the horizon. Sometimes there’s a full-blown storm raging.
Here in Northwest Georgia, we woke up this morning with a forecast filled with the possibility of storms — possibly severe ones. The heavy gray skies whispered threats of lightning and thunder, and forecasters talked about damaging winds and hail.
This forecast comes on the heels of a couple of pretty severe storms we’ve already had this spring. For one, I was caught out on the roads, between an evening choir rehearsal and my home about a 25-minute drive away. I was completely unsure of what to do. Should I stay with my sister in one town and seek refuge or head for home and pray for the best? Thankfully, as I made my way south along Highway 27, I found myself nestled in between the storms. Lightning raged on this side and that, but I managed to not hit really hard rain until I was nearly home and was able to dodge bad winds entirely.
The next storm came a few nights later as Larry and I had already settled in for the night. We were safe at home, but still the storm came, raging against our roof, pouring hail down on us. We both dared a peek out the backdoor only to have the lightning illuminate the scene and show that our deck and backyard were completely white with hail.
Sometimes, I wonder if we’d be better off if life had forecasts, if we knew when the next season of turbulence would blow our way. But then I think of the words of Matthew 6:34 which tells us not to worry about tomorrow because “each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Those words bring me back to my recent feelings of gloominess, brought on for mostly no reason. And they cause me to confess my weakness and my self-centeredness.
Tiny speed bumps on the road of life are no reason to respond with frustration or self-pity. Even very real storms that rage against us are not greater than the God who cares for us.
Psalm 91:1-5 reminds us, “We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods. This I declare, that He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I am trusting in Him. For He rescues you from every trap and protects you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with His wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. Now, you don’t need to be afraid of the dark anymore, nor fear the dangers of the day.”
Dana wrote a blog post recently about a 21-day complaint free challenge. I have over the weeks since given a passing try or two at limiting my complaining. But I realized this morning that I was trying to tackle my complaining in my own strength, which leaves me feeling as helpless as that girl alone outside in a storm. So, I deleted the Complaint Free app and decided to connect to the Source who can make a real difference in my life.
I found a good model in 1 Samuel 30, where David’s in a bit of trouble. Verse 6 says, “David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered… But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”
What a great model — relying on the strength of the One who is actually strong, trusting the One who is completely trustworthy, and allowing my mouth to be filled with praises of the name of the God who loves me rather than complaints.
That’s my prayer for this stormy day and for all days — stormy and beautiful — that lie ahead.
Do you have a way of beating the blues? We’d love to hear it! Just comment below.