Strong winds, deep roots

Dr. Marc Drake, Sr. Pastor, Sun Lakes Baptist Church

For some reason, I’ve always enjoyed thunderstorms (as long as I’m not out in them). When I was growing up in the South, my room had an unsealed roof and I still remember that deafening sound as the heavy rain pummeled the house. There was just something about a rip-snortin’, Georgia frog-strangler that was exciting to me!

The Old Testament book of Nahum says of the Lord, “In whirlwind and storm is His way, and clouds are the dust beneath His feet.” (1:3). Now, I may not know all that this means, but I do know that God is in charge of all things – even the weather! You could say that nature is the theater in which the mighty power and majesty of God is showcased.

But there are those other kinds of storms in life – the kind that no one enjoys. For example, there are storms of deteriorating health, uncertain finances, family issues and difficult relationships with people. Yes, life has its storms, but if God’s way is “in whirlwind and storm” (as Nahum puts it), His way is surely in the other kinds as well. This means that no matter how unexpected and heart-wrenching the developments of daily living may be, there are unseen purposes that God is faithfully carrying out.

So, whether it is a major storm of some kind or a minor irritation, God is using them to shape us, humble us and draw us to Himself. We must not despise the tools that God uses in our lives. We need the storms, the trials, the criticisms and the unexpected circumstances. We may not want them, but we need them. They are all part of the heavenly Potter’s equipment as He shapes His children for His use and for His glory (see Isaiah 64:8; Romans 8:28). God intends the strong winds to produce deep roots.

It was William Cowper (pronounced Cooper) who wrote the hymn There is a Fountain. He was a man who battled severe depression throughout his life and had even attempted suicide. The day came, however, when he picked up a Bible and began to read Romans. It was there that Cowper met the God of storms, finally submitting to the One who had pursued him through so many desolate days and stormy nights. As a result, Cowper finally found peace in the midst of the whirlwind. Although he did not cease having difficult days altogether, he now knew a strength and power with which to face the storms of life. He wrote:

God moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform;

He plants His footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.

You fearful saints, fresh courage take:

The clouds you so much dread

Are big with mercy, and shall break

In blessings on your head.

How good to know that the God of storms is also the God of mercy! (See Lamentations 3:22-23).