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It was the only kind of day they have at O'Hare Airport - busy. It was August, and I was one of the thousands of passengers there who had plans and schedules, things we had to do, places we had to be. But, as far as I know, none of us made it. Chicago had a record-breaking storm that day - over nine inches of rain. There was massive flooding, in fact so much, that the airport was literally flooded closed. That created an interesting dynamic with no one able to come in or go out. It was sort of like Camp O'Hare all of a sudden. Many of us spent the day trying to find either a way out, or a phone to call out, or a place to spend the night. And it was a few years ago and you weren't talking cell phones. And virtually no one did what he or she had planned to do. Oh no! Our plans didn't go through all because of one storm! The rich, the poor, the powerful, the unknown, the young, the old - it didn't matter. Suddenly your destiny was out of your control. Storms will do that to you.
It's not uncommon for life's hard times to be portrayed in Scripture as storms. And that's appropriate because storms are often situations where you have no control over your outcome. Like all of us upended passengers that day at O'Hare Airport. Maybe like the situation you're in right now: medically, financially, or in your family, your business, maybe your ministry. It's "out-of-control" time. It's storm time.
Our Word for today from the Word of God comes from Nahum 1:3. It's this wonderful anchor verse buried in one of those often-neglected Minor Prophet books in the Old Testament. "The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and the storm." Out of control? Yours, yes. His, no.
Paul experienced that in a dramatic incident recorded in Acts 27. He was being transported from Israel to Rome, by ship and under Roman guard. But their ship was hit by a hurricane-like storm that battered them for two weeks! They had to throw their valuable cargo overboard, much of their equipment, and they didn't see the sun, the moon, or the stars for two weeks! They had no way to navigate, no way to know where they were headed. Paul describes them as just being "carried along." That sense of having no control of where you're going might sound painfully familiar.
Here's the exciting part. When they were finally driven aground, they ended up on the island of Malta. Guess where? Just south of Rome. All the time that they had apparently been out-of-control, there were right on course. So are you.
That's what the prophet meant when he said, "The Lord has His way in the storm." Your situation is out-of-control, but it is in God's control. In fact, God uses these stormy times in powerful ways to show you how much you need Him, how much you can rely on Him, to draw you closer to anchor people in your life, to help you see sin that you would otherwise would never face, to make changes you'd otherwise never consider. And then He brings you safely to your destination.
Maybe the winds in your life are intensifying right now. You can't find the things that you've always navigated by and the flood of your frustration and fear is rising. Listen, everything is under control. If you relax and you let God navigate, you are in for a wonderful surprise when the storm passes. The storm that blew you around so violently was actually blowing you home.
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