In the Midst of a Storm
By John T. McNeal
Have you ever stood in the midst of a storm? While standing still you can feel the wind blowing to and fro, hear the crashing thunder, and see the blinding flashes of light as it fills the sky. The heaviest of Southern rainfalls can soak a person from head to toe in less than thirty seconds if they stand in the rain unprotected. The most troubling of storms in the South include hail and dark green clouds which can be signs of tornadic activity.
Of course, faith has its own storms. Noah faced his when he was building the ark; it took over 100 years to complete. Moses led the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery and into the wilderness, where they had to rely on God to give them food and water for forty years. Do you think he had some stormy days? Abraham had a terrible storm to face when God asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac. God gave each man a task to perform, and “By faith” they performed their tasks and stood in the midst of the storm. Chapter 11 of Hebrews includes a list of men and women who were asked to stand in the midst of the storms of life, and who performed valiantly in the sight of God.
At the beginning of February, I entered my own personal storm. Of course, I could never compare my storm with those recounted in Hebrews 11. Mine would likely be a ten minute Florida rain shower compared with those category five hurricanes. Nevertheless, I can learn from how they handled their personal storms. I can sum it up in two small words: “By faith.”
On January 1, 2010 my wife was laid off from her job, making me the primary bread winner. As we looked at our finances, we started to cut back where we could. Losing over 50% of our income really hurt our budget. This wind really tore our sails right off the boat. Then at the beginning of February, the thunder and the lighting increased as I was released from my position as well. As the bills come in and the rain gets just a little harder and the clouds get a little darker, I know God has something good for us. Therefore, I want to stand and face this storm, “By faith” according to his word.
I know that I am not the only one in this position. According to Christopher Rugaber*, “a record 20 million-plus people collected unemployment benefits at some point in 2009.” I’m just wondering how many can claim to be living “By faith” as this economic hurricane moves across our land. The devastation of economic wreckage is everywhere; the evidence is in the housing market, the job market, and the unemployment lines.
Hebrews 11:1(NKJV) says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” So if you or someone you know is being whipped about by this economic hurricane, show them Hebrews chapter 11, and give them a big heaping spoonful of “By faith.”