22 Jul Why We Need the Storms in Life
A rainbow is a multi-colored scarf draped around the shoulders of a dying storm. Such a beautiful image and so descriptive of a rainbow’s purpose – to provide hope after the storm. I was driving home the other day. It had been raining and storming all day. As I came up on the overpass, I saw the biggest, most brilliant rainbow I’ve ever seen in my life. It took my breath away. It was wider than I had seen with colors so perfect, I felt like I was seeing the eyes of God manifest in this incredible reminder that He will never again destroy mankind by flood.
We all experience storms in our lives. They come when you least expect them, crashing in like the startling crack of thunder that jolts you to attention. Things are moving along fine and then BOOM, you lose your job, or you’re diagnosed with a disease, or your child gets arrested, or you have a wreck and are injured.
I remember like it was yesterday as the doctor told me I had cancer. I was only 35 years old and had two young children. I was working hard to build my advertising agency. My whole life was ahead of me and I felt like my world crashed down around me. I sat in my car in the parking lot for two hours, stunned, not even able to start my car. I felt paralyzed. I forced myself to pray and I asked God to help me through this. Cancer was a storm that I had not been prepared for.
God used cancer to change my life and draw me closer to Him. You might think that is mean or unfair of Him to treat people this way. You have to understand that nothing means more to God than we do. He gave His only Son for us and absolutely nothing is more important in all of existence than our relationship with God. Sometimes God goes to extremes to get our attention, especially if we are running from Him, or playing games with Him. He tolerates our riding the fence for a while, but at some point you can be sure, He will expect more from you. When He does, you have the choice, to pull away and live your life the way you want to, or draw close to Him and ultimately surrender to His love and His will.
I chose the latter. I gave it all up to Him. I surrendered heart, soul, mind and strength and I have never regretted it. Now, after all these years later, I can see that it was through the storm of cancer that God saved me. He not only healed me completely, but He demonstrated His great and glorious power through His work in my life. The doctors told me I would never speak or sing again, and that I would lose the use of my left arm. I surrendered this diagnosis to God and asked for His will to be done in my life. I would have never known His immeasurable grace, but through His healing. I would never have known forgiveness, but through His mercy. God, through the love and power of Jesus Christ, shined a light into the darkest parts of my soul and healed places that were festering and infected. Anger, rage, unforgiveness, rejection, betrayal, abuse and a multitude of other emotions were suddenly cast into light and I was forced to face them. By His love, God healed me inside and out. He gave me the greatest freedom I’ve ever known through the most devastating of circumstances. Just as the surgeon cut away the cancerous tissue, so God cut away the things in me that were poison and destructive.
We cannot recognize light if we don’t understand darkness. We cannot appreciate joy if we’ve never known sorrow. We cannot experience freedom and love if we don’t forgive. We cannot be grateful for clear skies unless we go through a storm. I’ve never loved my own life more than after I had to fight so hard to keep it.
God uses all things to work to His glory. Trusting in Him through the storms in your life builds your relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It builds faith and trust as you learn to rely fully on God. As you seek a deeper love for God and a closer relationship with Him, you will see the fruits of the Spirit come alive in you — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Don’t fear the storms that come in your life, but keep your eyes on God, surrender to His perfect will and wait for the rainbow that is the glory of God.
By Cynthia Montello, Creator of Soul Topics app