To Sleep In A Storm

Mar 4, 2019

The day began with sunshine and warmth, no hint of the storm that would come. My children played outside with other pint-sized neighbors, carefree and happy. From my seat in my office, the sounds of laughter and make-believe filtered into my ears. Their joy sparked my own.

But then the sun set and the day came to a close. And with it the warmth and sunshine. Dark roiling clouds curled over the mountains to the west, galloping across the Colorado sky toward our front door. I knew what was coming, and the thought thrilled me. I love a good thunderstorm, and we certainly needed the rain.

Eyelids heavy, the kids brushed their teeth, crawled into bed, said prayers and “I love you’s.” Then, with a final “Goodnight, love,” we shut bedroom doors on another day.

Within minutes, the lightening began, then thunder. A fierce competition between two warriors determined to outdo the other. One moment electric light poured in through all the windows, followed too quickly by the angry booms of thunder’s reply. It was spectacular, full of unleashed power. The light blinded, the windows shook. And soon the sky birthed a downpour.

About that time, I heard another sound.

Was it the storm? A child? I couldn’t tell.

First a whimper, then a wail.

I dropped everything and headed upstairs. And while the storm raged outside, I tried to locate the one brewing inside.

My boy. He was terrified. When a flash of lightning illuminated his room, I saw him rigid in his bed, eyes round and white.

“What’s up, buddy?”

Certain the thunder and lightning were threatening his life, he gripped his bedcovers in terror. He couldn’t sleep, not a chance. From his pint-sized vantage point, his fear felt well-founded. These weatherly forces were bigger, stronger than him. And although a two-story house and two parents separated him from the storm, all he could see was everything that could go wrong.

Sitting at the side of his bed, I reached for him.

“Look at me, buddy. Look at my face.” It took him a moment to pull his eyes away from the storm to lock with mine.

“Do I look afraid?”

He didn’t answer. I asked him again.

“Look at my face. Do I look afraid? Do you see any fear on my face?”

He shook his head.

“When I’m afraid, you can be afraid. But until then, I want you to keep your eyes on my face. And trust me. I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”

I smiled, proof of my surety.

“Eyes right here, okay?”

He nodded, settled deeper into his bed.

A few moments later, I kissed his forehead, closed his door, turned off the hall light. Then I went to my girls’ rooms and repeated the same with them.

Within a handful of minutes, all were asleep.

And the storm moved on.

You see where I’m going with this, yes? The difference between savoring a storm and being petrified by it depends on where you choose to focus your eyes. When life unleashes its worst and scares you with its power, fear feels potent, real, well-founded. You see everything that can go wrong, all the valid reasons you have to be afraid.

But there is One who knows a thing or two about wicked-fierce storms. And although He’s aware of the risk of pain and trauma, He’s not afraid. Not at all. Because He knows there’s one unshakeable force standing between you and your storm.

Himself.

My friend, I know this life can be terrifying at times. There are days you and I have good reason to be afraid. But don’t get so caught up in the lightning and thunder that you miss the One who is keeping watch through the night. Take a minute to turn away from the storm and look at His face.

Can you see Him? There is love in His eyes, tenderness in His face.

Does He look afraid? Does He seem in over His head, out of control, worried?

Nope, not a bit. Not even the tiniest shred of fear or discomfort. Instead, absolute confidence. Unwavering assurance. He knows how it’s all going to turn out. And He knows there is no storm big enough to snatch you out of His hand. 

When He’s afraid, you and I can be afraid. But that isn’t going to happen. No howling storm is stronger than His Hold.

Eyes on His face, my friend. Not on the weather, not the ferocity and the intensity and all the what-ifs. Instead, trust Him. He’s got you. And sleep.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 8:38-39

What storm is gripping your attention right now? And what is ONE thing you can do to turn your eyes from the fear to His face? You’re not alone, not even close.

20 Comments

  1. Patricia JonesMessager

    The storm I’m facing right now Is”losing the love of my Sister it seem like she hates me. I’M been good to my sister. She says she’s a Christian, I’M not judging her that’s not for me to do. I’ve helped her raised her children. I lost all of my mine’s tuba pregnancy and miscarriage’s. She has done some good things for me. I’ve went out of my way for her, I did it out of love, I have forgiven her for the past, She’s always done things to me. Made me have sex as a child with her husband. Just so many things. I have let go of the past. I prayed and cried out to God and Jesus. I’ve proven her wrong of thing’s she keep accusing me of . I’M now handicap. Been living with her 7 or 8 year’s I’ve paid off loans I let her got in my name and allowed her to do it again. I’m trying my best to move I Pray night and day. Never thought ahe would do thus too me. I’M just hurt, To God Be The Glory, Please Pray for me.Thank you,

    Reply
  2. Michele

    Thank you, Michele, for your beautiful words of encouragement. My life has a lot of uncertainties at the moment, but one thing remains unchanged — our God of Love, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      In the midst of turmoil and uncertainty, it’s so helpful to focus on what remains solid and unchanging—God’s love and presence. It’s the only anchor that holds.

      Reply
  3. Mike Sohm

    So very helpful today. Thank you Michelle

    Reply
  4. Nathaniel Davis

    Thanks this was great. To know Jesus has got it covered even in the storm (especially in the storm )

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Such a relief, isn’t it? Puts everything else in proper perspective.

      Reply
  5. Barbara

    A powerful reminder of where we need to keep our eyes – on HIM, not on the storms in our lives. We all have them. Some are thunderstorms that pass on through, others are storms that stay with us for years and years – but always HE is in the midst of our storms. Thank you for this beautifully written piece.

    Reply
  6. Damon J. Gray

    Michele, you and Barnabus – son and daughter of encouragement. You are such a blessing to so many. Thank you for the freedom with which you share.

    Reply
  7. Susan Sage

    I love this, Michele. Just yesterday, a friend and I had coffee and talked about the difficult storms of life and keeping our eyes on our Shepherd. I love the way you spoke to your little guy…I used to say this same thing to my son…do I look afraid? Until I do, you don’t have to. Brought back many memories of calming him through storms. Oh that we would trust our Father the way we encourage our children to trust us.

    Reply
  8. Darlene Lyons

    Michele,

    Your words are such an encouragement to me. I am facing a 2nd recurrence of ovarian cancer. Through all of this I still trust Him because I know HE is in complete control. The journey has had some hard days and good days. Life is not easy for any one of us, but I am so glad to be able to Trust HIM moment by moment. I would not trade this journey for anything. What a faithful, dependable, loving God we serve.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      I’m so very sorry, Darlene. Not what you wanted to go through. I love your faith and confidence in God’s presence and absolute control in and through this situation. Not easy, but He CAN be trusted. Praying you experience His reality and nearness in a special way today.

      Reply
  9. Julia

    I am so glad I serve a God who knows all things and is able to keep me in his care. He promised never to leave me alone.

    Reply
  10. Pam Ortiz

    Michele – You are such a light in my life and remind me through your heartfelt writings who God truly is. Thank you for encouraging me yet again that keeping my eyes on my Savior is what will lead me through the storms of life.

    Reply
  11. RODNEY PRICE

    …fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross…

    Thanks, Michele for your beautiful story that also helps to illustrate that passage from Hebrews 12.

    Reply
  12. JeNom Makama

    Dear Michelle,

    You helped me draw a powerful lesson from this ordinary’ experience. (at least for an adult).

    Yes, it is easy to get caught up with the raging storm and clapping thunder, and not remember the One who is able and willing to shield and keep us.

    The ‘look at my face’ and ‘When I’m afraid, you can be afraid’ bit is so on point. I will use that with my children whenever they are gripped with fear.

    Thanks a bunch.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      So glad to hear it, JeNom. It’s an honor to share life and faith together.

      Reply
  13. Lori

    My mum has a brain tumour, inoperable, my storm at the moment! I needed do much this to remind me who is the Master of the “storm”!

    Reply

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