So as you may be aware we are in a series of storms right now in the UK. Dudley, Eunice and now Franklin (how lovely that they name them and make them sound friendly).
Well God has been speaking to me about the storms and I felt Him say…
Storms reveal roots!!!!
In the natural we see huge trees being brought down that have stood for hundreds of years. Solid and steadfast weathering many a storm.
But, over this last few days I have seen many trees like that uprooted and I’m sure you’ve seen the news reports too. It’s always a shock when you see such a big, grand tree hit the decks, or the house or the car or whatever else gets in its way. Often when this happens it causes devastation as it’s huge weight crushes anything in its path.
You can often see the roots that get pulled up as it topples over and again this shows the extent of the devastation as those root systems are formed over many, many years and go deep below the ground. Sometimes the tree comes down because the tree is actually rotten and can be dangerous and unsound because of the rottenness within its trunk and roots. Other times it just can’t withstand the immense gusts of wind and has no choice but to let go and fall. Or the root system may be fairly young and has not gone to the depths yet that will keep it anchored.
I felt God ask the question…How are your roots in a storm?
I love when He asks those types of questions because He knows the answer already and you know He is pointing it out for your good! You know in that moment there is something to deal with and you can’t avoid the direct question right!
Now for me I know that I can panic in a storm and this is because growing up my mum was terrified of storms, to the point where she would sit in the under-stairs cupboard in darkness with the door shut so she couldn’t see it or hear it. Growing up I didn’t think this was odd because it’s all I’d known. But, without realising it I was observing a pattern of behaviour that felt normal to me and subconsciously one that I took on board as I learnt that storms are to be feared.
Now just before you start picturing me like Harry Potter in my under-stairs cupboard I want to assure you that I have recognised this is not a healthy response and that other peoples parents didn’t do this and I don’t need to do it. But, I cannot lie I do feel fear when it’s windy like it has been this last few days, and I start to imagine terrible scenarios in my head that I can see from the news actually happen which makes the fear seem vindicated.
I remember one year we decided to go on a camping holiday in Wales with a large group of friends. How lovely you’re thinking (yes lots of it was) but no! It was so windy whilst we were there that one night it got too much for me with the wind ripping round the inside of the tent sounding like Indiana Jones was in with us and cracking his whip loudly. I got up in the middle of the night and took my quilt and went to sleep in the front of the car. I made my husband Tim come too. I felt much safer no longer under canvas. The next morning I was woken by the sound of friends coming to see what was going on as we were asleep in the front of our car and to say I have never lived it down would not be a lie!!!!
Here is another unfortunate canvas related incident that happened to me at Newday, a youth festival held in Norwich, where we were serving on team. We were staying on the server’s part of the site where there was a large gazebo to hang out in with a refreshment area. One afternoon on a particularly windy day I went back to the tent, well at least to where I remember the tent being, to find the gazebo had taken off and landed on our tent. The poles were shredded like cheese strings and completely wrecked. Let’s just say that was the last time we camped and for everyone who still mentions it, there was no foul played involved on my behalf ( I don’t like camping) and it was an act of God!
The reality is, that yes sometimes roofs do come off and sometimes there is a loss of life but they are not the norm in a storm and in the grand scheme of things they don’t happen often.
In an actual storm I have to battle the fear away by giving it to God to help me remain calm (I don’t always win) but I do know God is bigger than the storm. I also know that He is a good Father and He is my protector and my shelter and I trust Him with my life and that of my family. So, when the storms of life come, and they look different for all of us, what does it reveal about our roots?
Are we going deep with the Father and do we have a sound root system in place or are we rooted in fear, mistrust or something else?
Why not take the opportunity to ask the Father about your roots today and see what He shows you. Are there any roots there that shouldn’t be that are causing your root system to be unhealthy and causing a rottenness inside that would be exposed in a storm? Or perhaps the weight and strength of the wind is too much to bear and you feel you’re going to blow over at any minute with the very next gust and you need Him to come and shore you up today.
Whatever your roots are like, know that the Father has good plans for your life and He wants to do good to you. In a stormy season God is working on our character and working things out in us that He can only do in a storm. He takes every season of our lives and can use it for our good.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Ask Him now…what is this current storm (whatever yours may be) revealing about my roots and see what He shows you.