When she first came to live with me, storms frightened her beyond belief. Betsey, the tortoiseshell cat, obviously had a past experience with storms that taught her to fear thunder, lightning and hail.
Even before the meteorologist predicted them on television, Betsey would start her pitiful wail. When the blast of wind finally hit with lightning, pounding rain and bass-drumming thunder – Betsey cried and clung to me. If I was in bed, she hid under the sheets, her little body shaking with fright.
I petted Betsey and talked in soothing tones. Sometimes I sang until she settled down. As soon as the storm passed, she once again purred and curled into a peaceful sleep.
Betsey has lived with me for five years, and she still seeks me out when a storm rumbles through. But she no longer cries that plaintive meow nor shakes with fright. She will often curl up next to me and wait for me to pet her through it. She has learned that she can trust me to help her through the storm.
Likewise, when I faced my own storms of unemployment, illness and financial stress – it was important to find my source of comfort, to help me ride out the storm. Sometimes I chose unhealthy comforts: a gallon of ice cream, chocolate and more chocolate, stimulants that I know aren’t good for me. Those comforts only temporarily covered the fear, like Betsey and her pre-storm yowling. I felt helpless and weak, because I am helpless and weak.
So what should we do when life’s circumstances throw us into bands of fear that seem to squeeze the logic and the life out of us? Who can possibly help us when we are faced with something so terrifying?
King David reminds us, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid.” (Psalms 56:3-4a NIV).
God is so much stronger than any of the storms we face. Illness, financial troubles, family issues, or stresses. He knows the number of our days. God reminds us that he has a plan – a good plan – for our lives. He knows how to place us in the perfect position where we can use our gifts for good. He knows the timing, the how and when to make it happen.
Financial stress affects us all, but we trust in a God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He knows how to meet every need, sometimes in miraculous ways we do not expect, sometimes as he whispers to us about another direction we might take.
When we are afraid, no matter what type of storm comes rolling over us, we can go to God and trust that he knows what to do. He is our security, our strength and the powerful force who helps us through each lightning strike.
Through faith in God, we learn to face our storms with a sense of joy, knowing they will eventually end and the sun will come out.
Then, like Betsey, we curl up next to our heavenly Father and let him soothe us with his sweet lullabies. We sleep in peace, knowing that he takes care of us and protects us from the havoc of earthly storms.
When we are afraid, we can trust in him.
Read an earlier post by RJ here.