The vicious cycle of Lifestorms is something I know all too well. There was a time in my life when I felt like the storm would never stop, and I lost all sense of if it was coming or going, and so I just kept trying to outrun it.
I was deeply hurt. One of my most important relationships was broken. I felt abandoned and alone. I began to make choices that hardened my heart and for years to come shaped my future toward a different, destructive direction.
At first the storm was not my fault. Another person made a choice that brought pain and darkness into my life. But in the midst of someone else choosing me into their storm, I began to invite in an extremely vicious storm of my own choosing. I began to pursue and aspire to everything of this world. I was like Jonah. I was choosing my own path. I chose myself into a storm over and over again. I was trying to flee from the presence of the Lord. And what did God do to Jonah when he fled? A storm was sent to the sea to break up the boat Jonah was on. And then what happened? Jonah’s shipmates threw him to the sea and then a great fish swallowed him up! This is an intense way to grab someone’s attention, but this story paints a beautiful picture of how God actively pursues us, even as we run away. While inside the belly of the fish, Jonah prays this prayer.
The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
brought my life up from the pit.
But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. I am forever grateful for the personal storm I went through several years ago. No matter how far I ran, there the Lord was. In the midst of my darkest moments, God was there waiting for me to choose Him over myself. He brought my life up from the pit. Because of that challenging time in my life, I now live to share a new story. I strive to bring honor and glory to God by actively serving Him and His people in all that I do, no matter where I am. I do not do this out of avoidance of another storm; rather, I do this because my love for God grew during that time of my life, and because my love for Him continues to grow. If I can share anything with you in this moment, I would want you to understand that God is diligently pursuing you. He chases after you with zealous love, just like he did with Jonah.
If you feel like you are alone in your storm, remember that our Lord took on the biggest storm of all by stepping off His throne to take on flesh. He experienced rejection, overcame temptation, conquered death, and most importantly obeyed the will of God, all because He loves you. No matter what type of storm you are in, remember that God chose to conquer the biggest storm of all just to have a relationship with you. Use your storm to bring glory to God.