Lessons from a Florida Rainstorm
As a Florida native, there are some things that you come to anticipate when summer rolls around. The first being that parking is suddenly a scramble not to find the closest spot but the one covered by the greatest amount shade. The second is planning any outdoor activity either before or after the hottest part of the day. The third- daily torrential downpours.
Sometime agom I was en route to Target with my little sisters when the sky opened up and rain fell in big, fat, droplets. The rain quickly became one of those storms where you can barely keep up with the taillight of the car in front of you. People were switching lanes and slowing down, hazards were thrown on left and right.
I got tense and asked the girls to quiet down because I needed to hear better when driving under such conditions (obviously). Steel nerves and singular focus were needed to maneuver the sloppy streets and drivers who appeared to have suspended their will to continue living by the looks of their driving.
The thought at some point crossed my mind, as it typically does when the going gets tough, Can I just not? I heard my dad’s advice as I always do when I'm in one of these rainstorms: Don't pull over, keep driving through it. The paternal wisdom and logic behind said instruction is that you'll get out of the storm much quicker if you push on and keep moving.
In life, we hit (or they hit us) disappointments, death, breakups, setbacks, and the like. These can feel like the foulest of storms doing unprecedented damage to our souls. But I love what God whispered to me when it got increasingly difficult to manage in that dark and violent thunderstorm. "This is just like life."
You get tired of straining to see. The lightening is scary, the thunder deafening, but you have got to keep moving forward. My mom was consoling a friend of mine after a tough break up and she said to his weary face, "Just keep getting up and going to bed and laying the hurt at the feet of Jesus." I love it.
The storm is rough and the pain is ugly. But if you quit in whatever way you could, it's just like pulling off the road. The storm may eventually pass, but you have made no progress. You will still have to do the work of moving toward your destination. Don't risk that delay.
When you keep moving in whatever the circumstance, you make a commitment to progress. You declare to your pain, “I'm coming out on the other side of this!” The storm may try to make a victim of you and you may feel like a victim most of the time. But as a believer you are never beneath (Deut. 23:18), never not victorious, never not a king or queen (Rom. 5:17) even when you're down because you are never out (2 Cor. 4:9). Assert the authority you have in the indwelling Presence of God (Romans 8:) and the promises of God in His Word. This storm is not the end of your story because you are promised overcoming. But you must continue to ever lay hold of that promise.
Take a break, catch your breath, cry, see a counselor, scream, do whatever you need to, but for the sake of coming out on the other side, do not quit.