Psalm 104: Storms Happen!

Read Psalm 104:1-35

Storms Happen!

But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight…
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
(Psalm 104:7,32)

There is nothing quite as unnerving as the fury of nature. I’ve never been in a massive earthquake, but minor ones are enough to make me shake in my boots. I’ve never been in a hurricane, but I’ve been on the outskirts of a tornado, and the aftermath of even such a localized storm blew me away. I’ve never seen hailstones the size of a softball, but I’ve gotten caught in a storm that pinged me with golf ball sized hail, and I’ll tell you, it was enough to send chills up and down my spine.

There is nothing quite like the unleashed power of nature to remind you of how small, insignificant and truly powerless you are.

Then there are personal storms! You may be going through one right now. In many respects, the fury of nature is nothing compared to the devastating power of a personal storm. Within the last twenty-four hours, a half-dozen friends have described to me their own personal storms—everything from an unbelievably huge financial crisis to an untreatable physical ailment to an unrelenting relational disaster to an unyielding emotional trauma—and they are truly big, hairy, audacious personal gale-force storms. And from what I can tell, their respective storms are not of their own doing.

You see, storms happen!

I would rather face nature than to go through what my friends are going through. At least a tornado, or an earthquake or a hailstorm comes to an end—and then you can pick up the pieces and begin to rebuild. Most of the time, a personal storm has no end in sight. And when you are in one, you are constantly reminded of how small, insignificant and truly powerless you are.

But there is One who is bigger than the storm. And the psalmist reminds us that, “He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.” (Psalm 104:3-4) If you are in a personal storm, I don’t know how long or how devastating it will be, but I do know that God will make your storm his servant—which means that since you belong to God, he will make your storm servant to you as well. God will work the storm for your good—his promise, not mine!

I don’t mean to minimize the sense of desperation your storm has brought you—I think I understand a little of what you are going through. But as surely as the storm reminds you of how small, insignificant and powerless you are, I want to remind you that your God is bigger than your storm, and he is going to see you through it.

Storms happen—but so does God!

God is not a deceiver, that He should offer to support us, and then,
when we lean upon Him, should slip away from us.”


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