– James H. Aughey
Storms of Correction
When the flood waters of trials are about to overwhelm you, remember that God has a life preserver in the Person of Jesus Christ Who hears us when we cry out for help. What we may think it could drown us, God can use to cleanse us. The psalmist sees the good in suffering as he wrote, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes” (Psalm 119:71). When we look at storms as a corrective measure of God, done in love, we can look at storms much differently.
Storms of Direction
Sometimes the storms of life can send us into a different direction in our lives like the storm that God hurled at Jonah as he was running away from God on a ship. The storm threatened to sink the whole ship but when they discovered it was because of Jonah’s God, they hesitated to throw him overboard to save the ship, knowing that Jonah would surely die, but in a death-wish sort of frame of mind, Jonah told them to toss him in the sea and when they did, the storm immediately ceased and the crew finally found out Who the One, True God was and they worshiped Him…and the storm directed Jonah into the belly of a great fish where he was later deposited on land so that he could finish his mission of witnessing to Nineveh. Think of a storm in life as a course correction.
Storms of Affection
Ecclesiastes chapter 8 can tell us a lot about suffering and some of the “whys” as Solomon writes, “For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery” (Eccl 8:6). The author of Hebrews adds, “the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Heb 12:6) because “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline” (Heb 12:7)? To God, discipline = love!
Storms of Reflection
When Joseph was unfairly thrown into prison, twice no less, he never complained or said “woe is me” but rather committed himself to the sovereign God, knowing that God can use evil for His own good (Gen 50:20). The Apostle Paul looked at life’s trials in this way; “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, or those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). He didn’t say all things were good but even the good and the bad work out for God’s purposes. We must simply trust Him in the storms of life and reflect on God’s ultimate best for us. See what God is trying to tell you.
Storms of Perfection
We get a lot of tornadoes in our state of Kansas but these storms do a lot more good than they do bad. The thunderstorms bring nitrogen rich water which feeds the plants and the strong winds make the trees much stronger here than in places where strong wind is rare. The author of Hebrews sees suffering as a perfecting work in us but of Christ, he wrote “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Heb 5:7-9).
Remember James H. Aughey’s wise saying that “God brings men into deep waters not to drown them, but to cleanse them” and these storms may be storms of correction, storms of direction, storms of affection, storms of reflection, and storms of perfection. He intends for them to do us good and not harm. We can trust the God of the storms, can’t we?