By Christy Pearce

stormYou know what gives me BIG joy?

Days when the blue silky sky stretches as far as the eye can see, donned with white, fuzzy, cotton candy clouds. When the sun’s glittery rays are so bright they stretch down and cradle my cheeks in warmth. When the grass gently sways to and fro at the beckoning of a soft breeze . . .

Yeah. I fill my chest with the sweet, cool air and exhale a sigh of adoration for all the glory that surrounds me.
GOD DID THAT.

He is amazing. Just contemplate all He has done. All He has made. Then, to top it all off, He desires to relate with us—He loves us with a love so far beyond the grasp of our thoughts. He sent a Savior to atone for our wickedness.

GOD DID THAT, TOO.

Job 12:10 says this:
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. (ESV)

Every breath we breathe is ordained by Him—even the one that we willfully ingest, filling our lungs with the sweet air on a sunny day.

But I am not always overcome with gratitude for how God sustains my life. Sometimes I am full of complaints and fear. I just wish God would do stuff the way I want Him to.

His Thoughts Are Not Our Thoughts

Don’t get me wrong—most of the time, I am completely grateful that God’s thoughts are not like ours. Other times, not so much. And sometimes, I go around shootin’ off orders to him. . .

Fix my car, money or health problems

Fix my husband

Fix my children

Fix me.

Let’s be honest. If God went around “fixing” stuff, the world would be a much better place. If He did it for us without our own effort to submit to Him, it would be completed—no question about it.

But He doesn’t work that way.

That’s where faith comes in.

And that’s why the joy of a beautiful day that woos us to God in the good times can lead us straight into His arms on the days when the storm is outside our door.

Joy in the Storm

The sky had turned a blackish-green and the trees were swirling around. Rain was pelting the roof and filling the streets beyond capacity, and then the dreaded siren screeched above the howls of the wind.

“Oh boy,” I thought. “Here it comes.”

We had been under a tornado warning. It happened in the past but nothing ever came to our area. But today it looked like we might meet God in all His glory through the power of a cyclone.

I gathered my sister and three little ones and headed for the basement. I was breathing in the musty, damp air of a bathroom we retreated to. It was dirty and gross. I never cleaned it because we were planning to gut it for a remodel.

But that dirty, smelly bathroom became our sanctuary from the storm, at least at first. . .

The siren blew a second time while we were in there. Everyone was restless and fearful. I stopped trying to watch the weather radar on my phone and suggested that we all just pray right then and there.

We asked for safety and that if it pleased Him, the storm wouldn’t come. But we also asked for strength and grace if He sent the storm anyway.

After submitting to the Lord in prayer, that nasty bathroom was no longer the object of our protection—instead, God was. He had become our sanctuary, and by faith we agreed to trust him come what may.

Listen to Him

The tornado was six miles from us and didn’t last long. That’s the closest one has ever come to our family. We breathed a sigh of relief and gratitude for God’s protection over us.

Then I began to think about the people who have survived storms of that kind of strength. I wondered if I could still trust God if He had sent the storm anyway.

“It doesn’t matter,” I thought. “That’s not my story today.”

My story for that day was the JOY I had through the peace of God when I had no idea what the outcome would be. He held me together even when the clouds were a billowy greenish-black landscape on a stormy day.

“Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:41 (ESV)

He is my God. He ordains my every breath. Every living thing is in His hand. He makes the sun to rise and the rain to fall. The winds and waves obey His voice. . .

And by His grace, it gives me joy to obey Him too—even through the storm.

Think it over . . .

What things do you see in creation that give you joy?

What things strike fear in you? How have the truths in this devotional helped you prepare for joy on both sunny and rainy days?

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About Brenda McGraw

Brenda McGraw is the founder of Ask God Today Ministries where a team of writers share hope and truth with others. She has a God-given dream to reach the masses with the gospel of Christ. Brenda is an author and speaker who reveals how to discover joy beyond the clutter of life. She draws from her own life experiences in the #1 Amazon Best seller,“Joy Beyond, 28 Days to Finding Joy Beyond the Clutter of Life”. She has two new books released. Finished, Top Ten Steps to Finish Writing a Book and Living Uncluttered, An Abundant Life Bible Study. Brenda lives in South Carolina with her husband, Jeff and one of their five children. She is a survivor of breast cancer and a heart attack. Despite the challenges she has endured, Brenda found peace through her relationship with Jesus Christ.
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