The storm before the calm.
I know we’re all more familiar with this phrase flipped around: the calm before the storm. But I think that sometimes, it’s the opposite. To me, the phrase is better reversed, transposed, flipped. Sometimes I think life is most scary and painful and difficult and heartbreaking right before something absolutely amazing happens.
You know something really great is on the horizon, but that doesn’t mean you don’t grieve what you’re leaving behind. The time before you meet the next incredible chapter of your life is often overwhelmed by tears, fear, and resistance. You know the next page has beautiful words, but want to linger on the black and white in front of you just a little longer.
Trust me, I get it. Take our recent move to Texas, for example. I knew Texas would provide many unbeatable opportunities for us. I knew it would be a time of growth for our marriage. I knew that it would be an adventure that we will cherish for a lifetime. We had prayed for months and months and felt like God really wanted us in Texas. Still yet, the days before the move were dark and cloudy. Tears came like fat raindrops and I couldn’t always stop them. I was scared and anxious, my stomach was in knots. The storm before the calm.
I find comfort knowing that I’m not the only one who has experienced the storm before the calm. In fact, it’s something my friend Jesus and His disciples experienced in real life.
“And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
The Bible says the disciples were terrified. They thought for sure they were going to drown. Sweet friend, has your storm made you believe that you’re drowning? I know there have been recent times that mine has made me feel like I couldn’t get my head above water. But Jesus, sweet, perfect, almighty Jesus, can calm that storm and the wind will obey Him.
The thing about that story that I never realized growing up hearing it in Sunday School, is that Jesus didn’t just come to the disciples and calm the storm right away. He could have. Although He was sleeping, He knew it was storming. He knew they were fearful. He knows everything. But He waited for them to come to Him. What would the disciples have learned if they hadn’t come forward and asked for His help? But because He let them come to Him and ask for His help, the disciples learned the power of the storm before the calm. Maybe He’s hoping we’ll learn the same thing.
Now that I’ve flip-flopped that old adage around, I can see about a hundred more circumstances in my life that have been the same way. Human nature resists change, our brains are literally wired to want things to stay put. Sometimes amazing things come our way, but we still have a hard time letting go of what we know and what we’re accustomed to. Friend, it’s okay to grieve that loss. I promise.
Maybe it’s a big thing in your life that has caused a storm. Or maybe it’s a little thing. I’m not judging, cause I’ve wept over the small stuff myself, so you’re in a safe place here. And each and every day, I still have storms before the calm. But I do find hope in one of David’s beautiful psalms. “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalms 30:5.
There have been times that the storm loomed over me so badly that I woke up and the joy hadn’t arrived yet. Wanna know what I did? Went back to sleep. Friend, with patience, persistence, and prayer the storm will calm, even when it feels like it won’t. And when you just can’t shake those storm clouds, remember that rain makes the flowers grow. There’s a reason the weatherman hasn’t lifted that storm warning quite yet. I have to believe that. Maybe He’s just waiting for you to ask Him to.
Friend, are you struggling through a storm right now? Waiting for your own calm to show up? I get it. I’m right there with you. Let’s weather it together. You can stand under my umbrella (-ella, -ella).
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” – Mark 4:39