When we were at the beach last week, a quick storm hit one afternoon. I was in our room while the babies were napping getting food ready for the evening.  I happened to look up and out the back window and saw it coming from the land side. The wind was blowing crazy hard, sweeping in fast with the rain. I darted over to the beach side. My husband and son were still outside.

I saw it hit. Everyone took off running. The wind blew so strong that chairs flew into the pool. A large piece of plywood flew off the building. Umbrellas streamed up and out towards the ocean. It came on so quickly. One minute it was sunny. And the next there was a wild storm.

The storms in our lives hit us in the same way. One minute everything is okay. And the next, we find ourselves in the eye of a storm. If you’re alive, you’ve experienced a storm in your life. Jesus’ disciples did. They got into a boat one night, and in obedience to Jesus, ran directly into a storm.

Just like the disciples, we can be simultaneously in the center of God’s will, and in the midst of a raging storm.

Life comes with troubles whether you follow Jesus or not. There are teachings out there that will tell you that following Him means that you will never fall on hard times. But this is not biblical truth. Loving and following Him doesn’t make us immune to troubles.

I wish I could tell you following Jesus meant that. That you will never face a storm. That the waters of life will always be calm. But I can’t. That wasn’t true for Jesus, and I certainly have never known any Christian who hasn’t walked through hard times. But following Him means having peace when everything around you is falling apart. It means still being able to say, It is well. THAT is everything.

I’ve seen it.  Experienced it in my own life.  Smack dab in the middle of a storm all the while watching the Lord move and work and answer my prayers.  Hearing him quietly whisper, I’m here.  Cling tight to me, come what may. Something truly powerful happens in your life when you choose to remain thankful during the seasons of trials and storms.

God knows we will experience times of disappointment, betrayal, grief and heartache. He knows we will become overwhelmed by the clouds and the rain, losing sight of an escape from the storm brewing around us. Praise be unto God that peace is readily available to us through Him.

When life gets crazy, it’s easy to focus on the circumstances. Easy to fix our eyes, hearts and attention on the storm, and miss the whisper. Don’t miss the whisper. Don’t let circumstances distract you from God’s voice.

I stood at those sliding glass doors watching that beach storm, the winds whipping and raging. But I wasn’t afraid. I was safe inside. Protected under shelter…We don’t fully feel the chaos and pressure of a storm when we have Jesus, because we’re under His protection. God allows the storm, but He also provides the shelter. His shelter makes the difference.

My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Cor 12: 9

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2

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