“It was a dark and stormy night… “ Well at least it was here, in Indiana, on Friday night. The thunder roared; it rattled the very walls of our house. I was a little shaken, myself, as that storm went through our community and the lights began to flicker. I had been for a walk on Friday morning and again a little later on Saturday afternoon – but in between those walks there was quite a storm that unfolded and engulfed us in thunder, lightening and torrents of rain! How quickly it seemed to appear, even though the weather forecasters tried to warn us, how it raged. And then it was gone. Some of the rain remains but the worst of the storm seems to have passed, leaving bits of downed branches in its path.
All of that reminded me of our walks of faith. We can be going along just fine one day and by nightfall something happens that shakes us to the very center of our being. We are engulfed in doubt and fear and our faith flickers nearly giving way to darkness. Sometimes, we have warning signs; sometimes we are surprised by the onset. And, oh how those storms within us can rage! Where is God? Who is God? Why did I ever believe in the first place?
Sometimes it is hard to ride out the storm. And when it is over and gone we may still see signs of our inward struggle. The storm may seem to dissipate a little yet still leave us a bit uneasy. Getting beyond the storm can sometimes be difficult. Getting back to doing those things we did before the storm can often help.
What are the regular things in your life that help you weather the storms of your faith crisis? Is it a certain devotion you read; perhaps a particular scripture that seems to offer comfort to you, prayer? Maybe it is something more physical – a walk, painting, gardening. Perhaps you need the presence of another person – calling a friend, re-connecting with a neighbor.
Just like thunderstorms are a part of nature; a crisis or two seem to be a part of almost every faith journey. Hopefully neither lasts too long or leaves behind too much devastation. It is always better when it is over.
The Good News is that God is strong enough to weather all of our storms. God is present before, during and after every storm – even if we cannot discern that Holy Presence in the midst of the struggle. It is good to “practice the presence of God”. (Brother Lawrence)
In God’s Grace,