“‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’” Matthew 8:26
It was St. Patrick’s Day weekend and I was halfway through my second triathlon. Fifty-mile-per-hour winds whipped across North Texas in winter’s final appearance of the season. Throughout the cycling portion of the event, there were times when the best I could do was brace myself against a wind gust that threatened to blow me to the curb. My clothes, still damp from the swim, made the temperatures feel even colder.
As I began the second loop of the course, the wind picked up even more. I gripped my handlebars tighter. I thought about pulling over into the fast food joint on the next block and calling it a day. But I pushed on and kept going.
Through clenched teeth I started to pray, “Lord, you are God of the wind. You calmed the Sea of Galilee in the storm. Have mercy on me and stop this wind!”
And just as I had articulated the last word of that prayer, the wind blew harder. “Not funny, Lord!” I said.
I can look back and smile on that experience now. I believe God showed me something important in that moment. “I’m not going to take it easy on you, Debbie,” He said. “An easy life makes a weak person. Just trust me. I’ll get you through and make you stronger.”
In my battle with depression and anxiety, He has done just that. He has strengthened my mind and my faith. So don’t despise the storm. Let Him make you stronger through it.
Lord, I like things that are easy. But I also know that it’s during difficult experiences when I have the chance to get better, stronger, and closer to the person You want me to be. Help me not to avoid or despise the storms in life, but to hold on to You and learn the things You want to teach me. Amen.
Whether you are in a storm, coming out of a storm, or going into one, consider that part of the purpose may be to make you stronger and to prepare you for something in the future. Stop and thank God for the lessons from the storms.