Early on in my walk, the above song was a lifeline for me. My life was crashing and burning, but because of my status as single mom and provider I felt I could never really show my pain or my fear. This song reminded me I was not alone. That God was with me. The song conjured up thoughts of Isaiah 43:2 “when you pass through the waters, you will not drown”. Through some of the hardest and most painful times in my life, I learned that when you stand with God, He is faithful.~~~~~
A few nights ago, I made my usual pilgrimage to the beach for a walk at sunset. Living on the gulf coast of Florida, the stunning nightly show is one I have never grown tired of. It is different every night, but always beautiful in its own way.
As I stood on the beach, looking out to the west , the sun began its descent and so began the kaleidoscope of colors bouncing off clouds. As the sky began to morph from blue to pink to orange, I became aware of a cold wind blowing up behind me. Looking directly overhead, a huge rain cloud was fast approaching. As quickly as these storms brew here, it was only a matter of time before the big raindrops began to fall on my head. I watched as the first round of beach goers panicked and began to run off the beach, clutching belongings in a haphazard way, trying to escape all effects of rain.
But as I gazed off to the west again, the unhindered sunset continued in all its glory. It was beautiful. There was no rain out there, only brilliance. I stood mesmerized in praise to a God who could conceive of such a glorious scene and bring it to fruition.
I was suddenly aware that I was standing in a full-blown rainstorm. Looking around, I was alone on the beach. I was drenched, not escaping the deluge, but somehow strangely unaware of it. I remained transfixed not by the rain, but by the sunset, still shining in the distance, out of reach of the storm.
Stand in the rain. Stand your ground.
As the sun reached the horizon, I was brought to my knees by the sheer, unrelenting beauty of it. I had never seen such a color. I had never seen such a sight. And it was all for me, alone on the beach. It was then I heard the Lord speak, deep within me.
“This is all for you. You stood in the storm. You kept your eyes on Me, not on your immediate surroundings. You recognized that what I was doing for you was not thwarted by the storm. In fact, it was because of the storm that it was so uncharacteristically brilliant. Never look at the storm, look at Me.”
What God is doing in our lives is often a bit “out there”. It is imperative that we do not cut and run when the first raindrop falls. If we do we may miss the most amazing blessing of all. Yes, the storm is real, but it cannot hurt you if you walk with God. Ignore the drenching you are experiencing, it is irrelevant when compared to the glory that is being prepared in the distance. When we persevere with Him, the reward is personal, intimate and spectacular.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Postscript: The photo here is not of that evening. Try as I might to get a photo of the sunset described herein, I could not capture it. As a matter of fact, I got nothing but washed out colors and blurred images. This truly was a personal encounter, a love letter from God to me. I pray you also will seek this relationship with Him, so that you too have moments of intimacy and joy with God, who deeply loves you.