Into the Storm

by Dianne E. Butts

I followed my husband up the interstate highway, he riding his Harley Davidson, me on my Kawasaki Vulcan. We’d put a lot of miles behind us already that day after leaving the motorcycle rally in New Mexico, bundled up against the chilly early morning air. An annual ride for years, we knew the 460-mile trip would take most the day. We pushed hard to get home before sunset, grateful for clear skies and good weather.

We rode two-lane highways to Interstate 25, then north over Raton Pass into Colorado. Getting weary and with still more than two hours to home, we turned from I-25 and headed east.

That’s when I saw the huge thunderhead billowing on the eastern horizon, brilliant white in the afternoon sun. Storms in eastern Colorado can dump torrents of rain and damaging hail, not to mention the dance of dangerous lightning. We made our turn eastward, straight toward the storm.

I glanced in my rear-view mirror. Behind us toward the Rocky Mountains was nothing but brilliant sunshine and clear blue sky. Ahead of us, a towering storm.

For a moment I so wanted to turn back! Growing tired, I wanted the rest of the ride to be sunny. Pleasant. Easy.

Seriously, though, if I turned around and followed the sun, where would that get me? The way home was into the storm.

Another day, long ago, Jesus purposely told his disciples to head into a storm. Matthew tells us immediately after Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 men plus women and kids, “he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And…he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them” (Matthew 14:22-24, ESV).

The word Matthew uses here, that Jesus “made” them get into the boat, strikes me every time I read it. Jesus surely knew that storm was brewing and he was sending them right into it. Why would he do that?

Because he wanted to show them something more than they could fathom, something about himself, that he could not show them if they were not in the middle of a storm.

“In the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea…” (v. 25).

The day my husband and I turned toward that storm, either the road took us around it or the storm floated south, but either way we never ended up riding through the storm. We arrived home safe and sound. Tired, but dry.

Remembering that experience, when I catch myself longing for an easier, more pleasant journey, I resist the urge to turn back, away from the path God has me on. I no longer fear storms that appear to loom in my path. The Lord might remove them completely as he did that day, or stormy times may lie ahead, but he is leading me home. And I don’t want to go any other direction. We have to remember, even as Christians, sometimes the only way home leads into the storm.

“But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid…’

“And when [he] got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him…” (Matthew 14:26-27, 32-33a).

Dianne E. ButtsAbout the author: Writing for 25+ years, Dianne has written 300+ articles for Christian magazines, six books, and has contributed to twenty more books including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her screenplay placed as a finalist in the Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays and a short film she produced won Best Documentary and the Evangelista Award for clearest presentation of the gospel at the 168 Film Festival in August 2017. Dianne and her husband are 20+ year members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association. Learn more about her at http://www.DianneEButts.com, follow her film at bit.ly/ConnectFilms, read her blog for writers at www.ButtsAboutWriting.blogspot.com, and join her newsletter.

Join the conversation: What storms have you experienced? How did God reveal more of Himself to you at that time?

9 thoughts on “Into the Storm

  1. I recently lost my job, due to budget cuts. Through no fault of my own, as the primary breadwinner of my family, I was unemployed. I wanted to cry, get mad, and throw a fit. However, that would serve no purpose. I still had to find a job. I walked into my storm, doing what I could to find a job. I did what I could, and had to allow God to work out the rest. He provided for my family, even in moments when news wasn’t good. I pressed on. When I accepted that I may not get a job for 3-5 weeks, God was at work. Less than 2 days later, my credentials were validated and I had a job offer. Only God could have worked out what had to be done. Today, after being unemployed for a month, I report for my new position. I stayed the course and didn’t quit. Thank you, God, for your provision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Best wishes, Cindy, on your new first day! I know that God will bless you for your faithfulness in waiting on Him. I just spoke yesterday about Joseph, who named his second son Ephraim, which meant “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” Pain is our best teacher, and makes us most open to hearing from God. There is much to be gained in the wait!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Cindy, your story is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing it. While my devotion says I’ve learned this lesson, it’s still SO HARD to have faith and trust Him when we’re in the middle of the storm. I’m thanking God for your new job starting today and praying you have an awesome day. I believe He put you in this new position today to bear much fruit for Jesus. “Lord Jesus, use Cindy in amazing ways in this new position you have provided for her. And always continue to provide for her and her family. In Jesus’ wonderful name, Amen.” Be blessed, sister.

      Like

  2. Thank you Dianne for your encouraging story. We all run into storms and day by day the Lord gives us the opportunities to remember His words ” Fear not ” ” I will never leave you nor forsake you “

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love it when you say : “To reach home, we have to go through storms”, it’s a beautiful picture of our pilgrimage journey on earth. The wonderful thing is that at the end of that journey that is where our Heavenly Home is….
    thanks for this encouraging devotional.

    Like

  4. Beautiful rendition of following Jesus wholeheartedly right into the storm and not turning back no matter what. The road is not easy as followers of Christ; it was never meant to be, but when you are afraid, instead put your trust in the Lord who leads right into the storm. He is our shield and protection as we dwell in the shelter of the Most High. When the storms of life are raging all around us… our peace is found in the center of the storm with surrendering it all to Him.

    Like

  5. I am realizing it takes such worry and effort to avoid the storms, effort based in fear. Instead we have and invitation to follow him through them relinquishing fear and replacing it with trust. Such a great reminder. Peace in the storm. Thank you and congratulations!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.