Embracing the Storm

“For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
Ephesians 5:5 NIV

A friend noticed I was making an idol out of paying off debt. When I cannot see where God is taking me, I seek control. I clean, crunch numbers, job-hunt, make checklists, set goals. “Surely I can make this unknown a little easier to handle,” I think.

Of course, filling my days with endless tasks stresses me out because instead of depending on God through the trials, I am relying on my own abilities to prepare my property for the turmoil ahead. If a storm is coming, I must board up the house, store food, and build a shelter. This mentality handicaps me because I am helpless against life’s storms – especially the tornados. They destroy one house and leave another intact. But God is THE ultimate storm tracker. He’s the ONLY one who can direct me to a safe house because he’s the only one who knows which places will be demolished.

For the longest time, I’ve been running an aggressive defense strategy. Any potential problem is immediately fixed to avoid inflicting any more pain on me or my son than we have already endured. In this instance, I recognize my employment and salary may never look the way it looked before I had Sammy. So instead of trusting God in his magnificent wisdom, I have become addicted to budgeting all in the name of directing my attention to the easily-controlled areas of my life. I’ve fixated on it so much that I’ve become unhinged trying to earn more money. Before storm clouds are even visible, I’m already erratic and untrackable like the winds that are coming. But the storm was never meant to consume me or obliterate my once well-constructed self. No, instead the storm prepares me. If I settle down enough to listen to my master’s voice, I’ll ride out the storm victoriously.

This news is essential to remember as my son prepares to leave preschool. If you’ve read earlier posts, you know it took a lot of courage to leave my son with strangers. By advocating for my child, I have gained alliances and made a few enemies. At least after over a year, I drop him off daily, assured he will be taken care of. As the winds gust the months off the calendar of life,  lots of decisions have to be made about kindergarten. Questions like will he be mainstreamed? Will he stay surrounded by kids with special needs? Which placement is best? Will he be bullied? Will he be treated as a burden by his future teachers? Will I ever find a group of people as loving as those I have become attached to at this school? You can see how this line of questioning could drive me mad, right? Perhaps even cause me to grasp onto facts and figures, which I can easily manipulate? Debt reduction and working extra hours might prepare me financially for the future, but they won’t mold me. They won’t rock me when devastation hits or encourage me to rebuild. They won’t pull me out of the waves and set me on dry ground. No, only God can do that. So if you’re battling the unknowns of life today, don’t hold onto anything that will let you down. The Savior already died to rescue you.

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