Weathering a Lifetime of Storms Brings Character and Wisdom
by Sally Clarkson
Over years of such storms, I have learned more and more to relinquish my rights to God and to seek to follow Him through whatever my life brings. A part of growing strong in faith and the character that carries us through the storms is to be able to say to God, “Not my will, but yours be done. Use me for your purposes and your glory. I know that you are the One who is walking with me through this, and you are faithful.”
The Lord has stretched me over many years of calamity and storms: car accidents, illnesses of children, church splits, stress, and pressures and conflict of every kind, you name it. But I have learned through all the seasons to expect these storms. I have learned to soldier on, or sailor on, as you will, in this battleground of life. At some point, I planted a flag of faith that said, “From this moment on, I want to survive storms with faith. I want to commit to being an overcomer. I want to please the heart of Jesus, even when I don’t understand what is happening.” Deciding to stay fast and seeking to be faithful is the way forward for me to live a story worth passing on to future generations.
We are shaped by our decisions. How important it is that we make commitments and life decisions based on the truth we find in the heart of Christ. We do this by following His example as well as the wisdom in Scripture that the Holy Spirit uses to lead us.
I have learned that life on this earth is in rebellion against God, and I will sometimes be caught in the danger of these violent storms. Yet my place is to face each storm valiantly, with courage sustained by God’s Spirit living through me, and with my eyes on Him. I know both from Scripture and from experience that with His grace, I can face each storm with peace in my heart and hope for His loving presence and direction. I know His purposes will be fulfilled through me as I trust these occurrences into His hands and walk with Him.
In plain words, I have learned that storms will come, and Christ asks for my faith as He calms the overwhelming waves and winds that blow my way.
Many people throughout my life abandoned or compromised their faith amidst their own storms, ending up victims of their circumstances. Many gave up their ideals when they became too costly. I did not want to end up cynical, without faith in Christ, or defeated and fearful because of past storms. It is a choice I renew every day: to love and trust God and to live my faith until the day I see Him face to face.
Living as a victorious sailor through the storms of life requires the courage to trust Him, the patience to wait it out by His grace, and the strength to find hope and His light in the midst. At the root of this faith is the development and growth of a godly character. Being obedient to God and stretching our character toward holiness does not happen all at once. It grows over time, and is strengthened as we practice using our spiritual muscles to walk with God one day at a time.
Sally Clarkson, Help, I’m Drowning; Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2021; Used by permission.
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