Since picking up our newest home in Minnesota several weeks ago, a 29 foot travel trailer, we have experienced little sunlight. As we traveled across the northern states of the U.S. we encountered a blizzard in Montana, significant winds in Idaho, freezing rain and ice in eastern Oregon before finally arriving in our current location of Portland. To say it mildly, it was quite a journey with many obstacles in getting to our destination. And since being in Portland it has rained almost every day, revealing a leak in our trailer through drips on our heads in the night. I’ve never looked at the Weather Channel as much as I have over the past few weeks. :)
The interesting part is how the literal weather can cause a “storm” upon the insides of any person. Just ask those in New Orleans, Haiti and Japan. The pressures of crisis, whether small or big, can reveal a lot about a nation, city or person.
Grace and I knew that this year would be a time of significant testing which it certainly has been in many different ways. Constant transition, saying goodbye to possessions that had gripped our hearts beyond what they should have, at times feeling alone, seeing our selfishness in the midst of parenting and much more.
After landing here in Portland I have had a little bit of time to look back over the last months and be filled with thanksgiving over what I have seen the Lord do in our family. We have seen His graciousness and mercy through the different inward and outward trials we experienced. Though tough at times, we know it is working in us an eternal weight of glory. He grants grace through His Spirit dwelling in us as we ask and we know He truly is preparing us for the Day of the Lord.
As a family we are learning this year through the Lord’s guidance that it is important to “enter the storm” and not divert from it. It is important because it humbles us, sends us to the Lord in prayer and allows us to see the beauty that He alone can bring following the cleansing rain of each storm.
This year in our family’s life was initiated by the Lord. We knew that at the least (or at the most) it had the simple purpose of preparing us for the Day of the Lord. Our salvation is being worked out with fear and trembling in many ways and we desire to be “born again” in the resurrection of our bodies at the birth of the new age.
For those thinking we are on a vacation, I assure you, we are not. Try uprooting your life, letting go of the 9-5 schedule, any security you might have had and living day-to-day on the Lord’s leading. Some might read that and think “YES!”, what are you talking about?! Trust me, it isn’t a vacation…especially for me who had OCD around my schedule and routine. Probably one of the most significant areas of testing is finances. Trusting the Lord instead of making our own plans from a place of anxiety and fear…basically living in sin.
Let me end with what I read this morning in Mark 4:35-41. Jesus slept on a cushion at the stern of the boat during a significant storm. That alone can serve as our incredible Example! We all know the story…Jesus calms the storm, asks some significant questions of the disciples as they stand in awe of who He is. Here are the questions that we too must ponder as we no longer seek to side-step the storms of life with our comfortable back doors of escape (entertainment, complaint, material possessions, reputation, etc.).
He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” Mark 4:40