Most of our state has been in a severe to exceptional drought for quite some time. Not just our state, but much of this area of the country. A winter with little to no snow, followed by a dry and windy spring, left the land thirsty for moisture. Many, many prayers have gone up for moisture in our area.
A few weeks ago, God answered those prayers in a big way. Close to two feet of heavy, wet snow fell on many parts of our state. All travel and activity was shut down for a few days, leaving many people stranded and farmers working hard to take care of their livestock. There were lots of pieces on the news showing travelers who got stuck for several days and livestock producers doing the hard work of providing for their animals.
In spite of all the hardships, I never once heard anyone complain. No, what I heard were prayers of thanksgiving and rejoicing as God provided some much-needed moisture. Despite the problems of the storm, despite the cold and the wind and the difficult circumstances, people were rejoicing, seeing the blessings in the storm.
You may feel like you’re in the middle of a storm right now. Maybe the storm is just getting started or maybe it’s been dumping difficult circumstance after difficult circumstance in your life. When we’re in the midst of a storm, it’s tough to see the good, let alone any blessings. It may seem like situations are piling up around you and you can’t see any way out.
This is where Jesus steps in with His promises.
When you send up prayers on behalf of your dad or mom, He promises to hear and answer.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16 (NLT)
When you pray that Jesus will shine His light into their lives, He promises to lead them.
O Lord, you are my lamp. The Lord lights up my darkness. 2 Samuel 22:29 (NLT)
When you show unconditional love and forgiveness, Jesus promises to bless you.
“Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:37-38 (NLT)
I urge you to open your eyes to see the blessings in this storm. You may feel that the “not so good” things have piled up and you don’t see a way out. But Jesus has blessings for you, and for your family, in this storm. Maybe this storm has brought you closer to your mom or dad, even to your siblings. Maybe you’ve found some new friends to share the troubles and the triumphs with. Maybe you’ve drawn closer to Jesus and have developed a true appreciation for His grace, His mercy, His faithfulness and His blessings. Maybe you’ve finally found that peace that Jesus promises in His Word.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
Storms can be confusing and scary and they may cause us to lose our way. Hold tightly to Jesus’ promises as you navigate the storms around you. And look for the blessings in the storm.
A Stander in Nebraska