When the Light at the End of the Storm Eludes You

When the Light Seems Further Away

The light was so near I could almost grasp it. I sensed the end to a long season of stress and difficulty and was ready for smooth sailing, Christmas decorating and time with family. Then my son got sick.

Unfortunately his health was only the beginning of the turn toward Grinchville and by the end of the week water and sewage was bubbling up into the bathtub every time I did the laundry. I could feel my attention slowly diverting from the joy and the wonder of the holidays and toward the muck.

I turned to the news. The internet was filled with terror and finger pointing, the ground underneath me seemed a little shakier.

Where do we look to find solace? When peace seems like an unrealistic ideal and you’re not sure it’s safe to take a shower in your house, where do you seek comfort?

Often, I place my hope in results. Which is why the light at the end of a few hard months was so comforting. Even though I couldn’t bathe in it yet, I could see it. But then it drifted further away.

Or did it?

I tell myself, “Once the kids are completely healthy, the bank account is full and the house is in order, I will stop worrying.” The only trouble is, it never quite works like that, does it? Even when we reach those mountaintops, we find there isn’t much life up there. And it isn’t long before we’re headed into another valley.

As I was reading through the story of Peter’s walk on the water this week, there were two facts which stood out to me. First, Jesus doesn’t calm the storm when he calls Peter to get out of the boat. No, Peter has to walk toward him in the middle of the storm. Two, Peter succeeds until he takes his eyes off Jesus.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.

Matthew 14:30-31 NIV

Peter’s outcome was not determined by the absence of the storm, but the presence of Jesus.

And the same is true for us.

If we go through life with thinking our lives must be trouble-free in order to thrive, we will never experience faith. We will live in a constant state of waiting and miss the opportunity to grow right here in the now.

The writer of Hebrews tells us faith is not the evidence of things seen, but unseen. (Hebrews 11:1) This is where our hope lies, friends. And when our world becomes shaky and our surroundings tinged by evidence of our dark enemy, we must focus on the Author of that hope.

Our anchor is in Him, not the chaos around us. We can take comfort in knowing when we ache, the One who suffered and bled is aching with us.

And the more I bask in that truth, the more I realize the Light never moved. I simply mistook the light for a set of circumstances. But lucky for me, God’s glory isn’t dependent on my notions of “the good life.” It goes beyond anything I could ever think or comprehend.

Sometimes to find his Light we need only to be still.

And as we warm ourselves in the weight of it, we realize it was there all along.

 

Linking up with these communities: #RaRaLinkup, #IntentionalTuesday, #CoffeeForYourHeart

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21 thoughts on “When the Light at the End of the Storm Eludes You

  1. I so often do the same thing. Once the ‘mystery smell’ in the house is taken care of, and once my son brings his grades us, etc. (You see the pattern.) I too am working on finding God’s peace through the valleys, not just on those fleeting mountaintop moments! Great thoughts today, friend:)

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  2. Amen. “Our anchor is in Him, not the chaos around us.” I will keep this nugget with me when my housework and workwork and everything else work becomes overwhelming. Thank you for that light. Have a blessed week.

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  3. Yes! Our nature wants/thinks we deserve everything right, but God has called us to a great adventure. I don’t want to miss a bit waiting for life to get perfect. Thank you, Abby!

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    • Amen, Lisa. Our nature so much wants to think we deserve to have things a certain way. I’m glad he’s patient with me! Thanks for your encouragement, friend.

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  4. Amen Abby! I have learned to expect the attacks of the enemy after experiencing a triumph or reaching that “mountaintop” moment. This keeps me grounded in God’s word and i treasure the moments of peace when blessed with them. As you so eloquently stated, “If we go through life with thinking our lives must be trouble-free in order to thrive, we will never experience faith” this is what the Christian life is all about. I want my faith to grow so I trust Him during those times of unrest. Thanks for sharing and have a :blessed” time with family this Christmas season!.

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    • That is so true, Horace. He does often attack after those mountaintop moments. I recently read an interesting fact about how our bodies aren’t made to sustain that euphoric state of bliss very long, which I found interesting. Thanks so much for your kind words today and have a wonderful Christmas!

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  5. Excellent post Abby! This speaks so deeply to me.. we just went through a month of family sickness..my son with bronchitis, now my husband with pneumonia, then I got sick.. you know it..Nothing like our bright spirits during the holidays challenged! Yet your lesson of Peter .. how he’s called to walk forward, eyes on Christ..is where we need to be! Storms will always come! You’ve inspired me to do what I wrote about this week..seek the heart of Christ this season, and always!! Blessings, may we keep our eyes on Jesus and realize the wonder of a Christ-centered season!

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    • Kathy, I am praying your holidays are sickness free! I know it’s so tough when our bodies aren’t healthy. Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement today.

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  6. I love this, Abby, and great insights on Peter. I heard a saying that the light at the end of the tunnel might very well be a train headed your way. That’s the way it is when we look to our circumstances to light the way. But when our hearts are anchored in Jesus, He is the Light that guides our way.
    Praying for health and stress-free showers for you and yours, friend. Thank you, Abby, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday. : )

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  7. Wow Abby! What a beautifully written post! I’m sitting here at my desk shouting “Amen! Amen! Amen!” inside. You hit the nail on the head with this one. Two things: I loved when you said “Even when we reach those mountaintops, we find there isn’t much life up there. And it isn’t long before we’re headed into another valley.” And I also really liked your point: “Peter’s outcome was not determined by the absence of the storm, but the presence of Jesus.” Bookmarking this for sure!! XOXO

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  8. I’m so sorry you’re going through a rough patch, Abby. I love though how you found your anchor in Jesus, not in the chaos. I always love the story of Peter walking on the water. As long as He kept His eyes on Jesus, he didn’t sink in the storm. Thank you for the encouraging reminder that our outcome is “not determined by the absence of the storm, but the presence of Jesus.”

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  9. I think the Holy Spirit is speaking to lots of us about Light, friend. I’ve read a few posts today that mention light! Your words encourage me so much because I’ve come through a rough patch myself. (And at least I haven’t had your plumbing problems, and at least the garage door was finally fixed today, and at least our car has now been running 3 consecutive weeks with no repair, so hallelujah)

    I love your insight on Peter here. Never thought about how Jesus didn’t actually calm that storms. Let’s keep our eyes on our Savior! But I do hope you have smoother sailing ahead.

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  10. I love this, Peter’s outcome was not determined by the absence of the storm, but the presence of Jesus.” Yes indeed! In any storm we face in life we need only Jesus to guide us through it. Beautiful words Abby! #RaRaLinkup

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  11. Yes and Amen!! There are soooo many things that I let block that light sometimes. But I’m reminded, like you, that everything is manageable in the presence of Jesus. I smiled when I saw the title of you post in Holley’s link up as I added mine next to yours… Guess God had the message of light for more than one of us to share today! And that’s probably one of my favorite stories about Peter stepping out of the boat… can’t wait to go read it again with the new light you shed on it! I hope your septic issues got resolved and that your son is better!! Happy Christmas to you friend! ♥

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  12. I make the same mistake too. I think if I can just get through this or that, then everything will be okay and I will have peace and the security I am looking for. But oh I how long to have peace in the process, and it only comes when I make time to be still. So glad to have stopped in and read your wise words today.

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  13. Abby,
    I used to think like that too…if I could just get over this hurdle…if this season would just pass…when this burden was lifted…THEN I would be good. The truth, I’ve learned, is that life doesn’t work that way. Like you so beautifully pointed out…most often the peace is found right there in the MIDDLE of the storm, not at the end of it. One of the hardest things for me to learn is that life is not black or white…that peace and pain can coexist at the same time. What I have to keep my eye on and cling to is the peace that is Jesus. Needed this today!
    Blessings,
    Bev

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