Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…”
I absolutely love running under a clear-blue sky, sun beaming overhead. Cold weather? No problem. But I utterly despise running in the rain. If it’s raining the least little bit during training, I happily opt for my elliptical machine or head to an indoor track.
Two years ago I trained for the Country Music half-marathon in Nashville. The day before the race, the weather forecast did not look favorable. The 95% chance of rain left a slim possibility for clear skies. I prayed like crazy for those gloomy clouds to quickly disappear. In one final, desperate plea I prayed for the rain to at least hold off until I finished my race. Come on God, really? Can’t you make it stop raining for just a few hours? Don’t you know I hate running in the rain?
As it got closer to our start time, the weather forecast remained the same and I had to finally accept the sad reality…I was going to get wet. Anxiously pulling a rain-poncho over my body, I hoped this flimsy piece of plastic would keep me dry from the raging downpour. Boy was I wrong! Huddling up together with a sea of 30,000 runners, I anxiously awaited my turn to arrive at the start line. The steady rain drenched my socks and shoes as I inched my way forward. Before the race ever started I was soaked to the bone. After a grueling thirty-minute wait, I was finally off and running. The driving rain felt like a torrential flood as I sloshed through puddles the entire thirteen miles of that race.
Halfway through the race I flung off the heavy rain poncho. My attempt to stay dry proved futile. The sound of rain drumming the pavement almost drowned out the music I was listening to on my IPod. But I could still hear the gentle whisper of my Heavenly Father above the noise.
Lisa, just as I am with you in this pouring rain, I am with you through all the storms of your life. Sometimes I calm the storm around you. But sometimes I allow you to go through it. Although you’ll get wet, I promise to be with you.
Drenched and shivering on the outside, I finished the race. But an inward peace had saturated my soul, ushered in by God’s truth. Once you’ve run through a constant downpour, the scattered showers don’t seem to bother you as much as they did before. And the same is true in our walk of faith. Once we’ve waddled through a heart-wrenching storm, we come out stronger on the other side. Our faith grows. Our perspective changes. The key verse in Isaiah doesn’t say if you pass through the waters; it clearly says when. And we lean harder on Him because we know He’ll be with us through it all.
So what about you, dear friend? What storm of life are you sloshing through? Are you begging God to remove your difficult circumstances? Are you trying to protect yourself from “getting wet” with your own human devices? Or can you humbly accept that He might take you through the storm? Maybe you’re drenched at the start line and the storm is raging. Maybe you’re in the middle and you feel as if you’ll drown in worry and fear. No matter where you are or whatever the storm is, He promises to carry us through it.
READY? Can you identify some past storms God has brought you through? How can you apply the insight you gained to a current storm you are in now? If you’ve been resisting a storm, can you embrace it with absolute trust in God? The next time you’re running in the rain, ponder the truth of how God is with you always.
GET SET. Matthew 5:45 “…He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
GO! Heavenly Father, I confess my selfish desire for you to remove all the storms in my life. Help me to trust you when your plan is not to calm the storm, but to calm my anxious heart in the midst of the storm. Thank you for promising to walk with me through all the storms of my life. Amen