Growing up, I was always afraid of storms. The uncertainty of them was the worst part. No matter what the weather people said, you never fully knew the amount of damage the storm would do. I also lived in a home with no basement and next to a forest so… that did not help my fear.
To this day, I still sometimes get a twinge of fear when a storm arises. Although, it helps being married to a man who used to be a storm chaser and the fact that I now live in a home with a basement. But recently, I was confronted with a storm that I had to go head first into.
It was a Friday night and I had been to my parent’s home all day. My parents live about 45 minutes away from where I live, and since I love driving I always look forward to my drive home. Especially at night since most of the roads are not busy and it gives me the opportunity to listen to music and most of the time, sing along obnoxiously loud. But this night was different. There was a storm coming.
Everything told me that the storm was not going to really hit until about 9:00pm. So, I finished everything up at my parent’s home and got out of there before then. One thing I forgot though, is that the weather is never 100% predictable. So, as I got in my car, it started to downpour. There were constant flashes of lightning in the sky and the wind began to pick up. Since I was driving away from the storm, I figured I would outdrive it and be fine. I was wrong.
The storm had hit and it hit hard right away. As soon as I got on the highway I knew I was in trouble. The rain was coming down so hard my wipers could not keep up with it, even at top speed. It was dark, so I could barely see the road, and there were flashes of lightning that were so bright, I feared they would strike somewhere near me. The wind was also so powerful that I felt my car move slightly from it.
With hands clenching to the wheel as tight as possible, eyes squinting, trying to focus on the road, I began to fight off the feeling of utter panic rising in me. Not only was I fighting the weather outside, trying to make it safely home, but I began fighting the panic and fear that threatened to take over my mind.
I began to pray. Nothing elaborate, I mostly was begging God to get me home safely. Pleading with Him to allow the rain to subside just a little, so I had a clearer view of the road. Meanwhile, I was feeling slightly silly because other cars were zooming past me like it was only sprinkling outside. Panic was taking over and all I wanted to do was pull over and wait for the storm to pass.
The problem was that even if I waited for the storm to pass where I was, there was a high chance I would hit it again since it was heading for my home too. I had no other choice, I had to keep going.
Spoiler alert: I made it home safely. It was rough, and the rain did not let up that much for most of my drive, but I made it home.
As I look back on that drive home, I am reminded of the story in Mark 4:35-41, where Jesus calms the storm. It’s a popular story, but as someone who has, in the past, had a strong fear of storms and who just drove through a terrible storm, it resonates with me more. My favorite verse in that story is verse 39, And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
I would have loved to see that happen as I was crying out to God during my drive. Asking for the storm to subside so I could at least see the road. But, that did not happen. I had to drive through the storm and just keep going.
Storms will always rise up. Literally and metaphorically. And there will be times when Jesus stands up, rebukes the storm, and everything becomes calm. Then I believe there are other times when God wants you to keep going through the storm and praise Him through it. Either way, you have a choice to either react like the disciples and myself did, with fear, or you can choose faith over fear and trust God.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'”