As we headed into the bay to watch 4th of July fireworks from the boat, we found ourselves on the edge of an unexpected storm. Rather than head into the storm, we waited it out, ensuring that it would be gone by the time we reached our destination.
It got me thinking: I will NEVER choose to go into a storm. I will ALWAYS choose calm seas & sunny skies, both literally and figuratively. As I watched the clouds and beheld the sun emerge once again, however, I was reminded of Psalm 147:8-9, “He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain & makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle & for the young ravens when they call.” Yes, the clouds which cover the sky give way to rain which refreshes the earth, in turn allowing the grass to grow, thus providing food for the animals. In other words, the clouds, the rain – the storms – prove to be fruitful.
The same is true for you & me. Those clouds you see? The wind whipping at your face? The waves knocking you out of your comfort zone? There is a purpose: fruitfulness, both in you & through you. Lest you think your storm is too great, be reminded that your God is greater still. Joseph is one whose life offers immense comfort in times of storms, confusion, & disappointment, as does no other. God’s ability to bring fruitfulness from the storms of life is revealed in the naming of his second son. We read in Genesis 41:52, “The second son he named Ephraim (which means “twice” (or “doubly”) fruitful) & said, ‘It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.’“
We may not be able to see the fruitfulness now, but I’m sure neither could Joseph while in the pit or in the prison. But we do not need to be able to see it to know it to be true. Perhaps we simply need to do what I did while on the rockier-than-I like seas: I kept my head down, not looking at the waves, not letting the wind sting my face, & just prayed and praised.
Yes, while experiencing our own storms, sometimes we just need to keep our head down, bowed in prayer & trusting His promises. All the while praising Him for who He is, which is always the right response & always the right attitude for His children – even in (especially in) the storms. “How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful & how fitting.”