I sat on a porch looking out over the river and watched the storms roll through this morning.
Mornings are usually my sunrise time, where me and God discuss whatever is rolling through my cluttered mind.
No sunrise this morning, just storms.
Watching a storm may not seem like much to some, but for me, I’ve always been afraid of storms.
Working on getting out of my comfort zone in a lot of areas, and this was a huge one for me.
And do you know what? I loved it!
I could feel the energy and power. I could hear the wind pruning the dead and weak limbs from the thick forest of trees across the river from me, and I felt perfectly safe.
God revealed to me how He has used storms in my life to do the same to me. To rip from my tightly clenched fist those things, feelings, unhealthy emotions and attachments to people and things.
If plant life has dead parts, too much of their energy and nutrients go into those dead parts, and the healthy parts suffer for it. Growth that should and needs to happen is hindered.
I’ve allowed myself to pour too much of me, time, love, joy, peace, talents and confidence into dead things, and not nurtured what needed to grow in me.
This morning I felt only awe, amazement, and gratitude for my God during a literal storm. No fear.
It reminded me that those storms of life must be endured the same way.
I understand the disciple Peter so well in Matthew 14:22-33. In a boat in the middle of a storm, terrified, Peter and the other disciples saw Jesus walking toward them. Peter asked Jesus to prove it was Him by allowing Peter to walk on water to Him. Jesus said, “All right, come.” Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on what had to still be a raging sea.
He did it, he walked on water. That had to feel amazing, but like me, Peter lost his faith for a minute, and he sank into the raging sea. Jesus reached out His hand and pulled him back up. Then He pruned Peter with His words, “You don’t have much faith, why did you doubt Me?”
After this was recorded in scripture, Peter still blew it. Several times. But he always got back up. Pruning followed by growth. I’m betting he remembered more than once the exhilaration of walking on water in a storm, the fear of the waves taking him under when he looked at the circumstances instead of Jesus, then the relief of feeling Jesus’ hand pulling him back to safety when he called Him for help.
I’ve made it through everything in life that I didn’t think I could make it through, but sometimes the fear was not only overwhelming but also paralyzing, keeping me from moving forward.
Now I know those things were only pruning. God’s pruning.
Will I still fight that pruning sometimes? Questioning God at every turn and uphill trek in my gravel road of life? I would like to say, “Absolutely not!” but I know me. I probably will.
Right now, right this moment, I’m not questioning the pruning. I’m learning to thank God for the pruning. I’m praying He will always gently remind me in the midst of what feels like straight line winds followed by an F5 tornado that is sometimes my world, that He has this. He will not let anything come at me that is not for my good, my pruning, and ultimately for His Good, so I can do what He created me to do and be who He created me to be.
Copyright © 2020 by Lynn Sanders
Lynn Sanders is a mother of 3 amazing adults, a nurse that works with adults with developmental disabilities and director of Sky Hill Animal Society in Selma, Alabama. Lynn loves utilizing her dogs and horses to show people the love of God through Therapy Animal work.