my tempest

Books of all shapes and sizes lined the shelves of the old library.  The aroma of paper and ink filled the room.  I ran my hand along the bindings, and chose a book with an intriguing title: “My Tempest”.  I opened to pages filled with a story, one of danger, triumph, tragedy, adventure and love. The words on the pages truly started to come alive as I read them.  Soon, I became an active participant in the narrative that was unfolding.
“It was a dark and stormy night,” was the opening line.  I was curious as to where this was going, so I read on.
As I became enthralled in the words coming alive on the page, I soon realized that this story, this adventure, was not a piece of fiction, but was in fact my story!
“It was a dark and stormy night, maybe not physically or atmospherically, but a spiritual storm was brewing. This storm had started when a cold front and a warm front met in my heart several years ago.
I had always, it seemed, known the Lord. Accepting Jesus to live in my heart at an early age, and growing up in the church, I knew what it was to live as a Christian. I could check off the dos and don’ts of what it meant to follow that lifestyle.
So, what was the problem?
Well, the problem was that although I knew who God was, and obeyed the ‘rules’, there was something missing. There was no joy, no peace. I was living a life of unfulfilled expectations, both from others and self-induced, disappointment, despair, and discouragement. Soon, my life turned into a seemingly hopeless situation with no way out.
The storm came. The confusion, the guilt, the helplessness, the whirlwind of emotions, the rain of despair, the thunder of fear, the lightning of loneliness, and the howling wind of unworthiness and insignificance. The rain beat down, the winds blew, the lightning struck, the thunder roared. Until, finally, I could take no more. There was only one way to make the storm stop, or so I thought. So, in the middle of the storm, I decided the only way out was to take my own life. After all, no one really cared.”
As the words on the pages continued, I was filled with questions. Does anyone else ever try to go it alone? Does anyone else every want to just throw in the towel?  Time and time again, I had read Jeremiah 29:11 and somewhere deep inside, I believed that God really did have a plan for me – a plan to give me hope and a future. So, I read on…
“Through what I refer to as the ‘magic of Jesus,’ the story had an abrupt change in direction. Grace came down, and cleared the skies. The sounds of fear were hushed. The piercing bolts of loneliness faded against the backdrop of the sunlit sky. The winds were stilled. Peace was intruding in the frightful night sky. “
As I continued to read, some of the same sounds, the blustering winds, and the downpours still made their way onto the pages of my life, but each event was shorter in length than the previous one. The sun came out every time, too.
I read page after page with twinges of pain and guilt about the failed business venture and the consequential financial ruin, the devastating end to some of my friendships and the glorious birth of new and fresh solidarity, the brush with death that I had encountered, and my stint in a coma and the subsequent relearning of the basic necessities of life like walking, talking, writing, and eating.  These pages captured both the tumultuous atmosphere that surrounded me as well as God’s all-consuming peace.
As I sat there, reading those words and feeling those emotions, an overwhelming feeling of gratitude swept over me. God, in all of His mystery, was turning my despair into hope, my fear into peace, my bondage into freedom, and my brokenness into wholeness.
I closed the book, and sat back in the chair with a sigh. I breathed a prayer of thankfulness.   As I drifted off to sleep, my thoughts were full of gratitude for the life, the healing, and the strength to survive that God has supplied me.   He alone has brought peace to my tempest.

 

grace.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. karocks836
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 18:08:44

    i love the word “tempest”…

    Reply

  2. Trackback: God is weird « bitsofbetsy

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