I enjoy thunderstorms. My backyard faces west so I have a good view of darkening clouds and distant flashes of lightning as inclement weather draws near. Then finally when the storm arrives, I watch with intrigue as the sky bristles with lightning, followed by sharp cracks of rolling thunder. And no I'm not outside observing from under a tree! But as I watch from my patio door, safely inside I should add, I can never help but marvel at the power and majesty of God's creation.

I've often watched blue sky or stars quickly re-appear following a bout of unstable weather, which yes, leads me to the analogy you knew was coming! Just like stormy conditions outside, there are times in life where we all experience gut wrenching, knock-down and often times faith crippling situations inside; unwanted baggage which results from a multitude of unsavory life experiences.
So let me ask you this; when the elements thunderclap into your life, what do you do?

Perhaps you become sour at God for allowing such tribulation? I have. Or maybe you sometimes feel that by praying, attending church, reading your bible, doing unto others- you get the idea; that these things should equate to a divinely enhanced protection package? I have the t-shirt(s) and sense I'm not alone.

But then a verse comes to mind when storms crash in around me. Jesus says this, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NLT)

There's a ton of wisdom and comfort in those words and we can be at peace knowing the Lord has our backs, that even though life is filled with stormy weather, we can take heart because our Savior has already claimed victory in our lives.

A friend going through a very difficult time recently told me, "I want all the tests to now become testimonies." That's a beautiful statement and prayer we should all adopt. She understands that God will never waste her life experiences, that he will come alongside her and ultimately turn all for good according to his plan and purpose.

When life becomes difficult, place your faith in Jesus. When lightning and thunder threaten to destroy your peace, The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." (Psalm 32:8 NLT)

My father liked to say, "It will come to pass," and he's right. Trials and sorrows in life are inevitable, but just like passing storms overhead, our Redeemer tells us to take heart as we await clear skies and allow him to work out the intricate details of our lives.

Let God's peace be your greatest defence when storms brew.

Paul Smyth