Have you ever been in the middle of a storm – a literal one or maybe a storm of adverse circumstances? I sure have – many of them and of all kinds. In fact, just over three years ago, Nicole and I were in the middle of what felt like a perfect storm. It was bigger and more fierce than anything we had ever experienced before and it was totality beyond our ability to control or navigate. There were headwinds blowing at us from multiple directions. Everything seemed to be shaking and we felt like we were in a spin of ginormous proportions.

Recently, as I was preparing for a message on “Navigating the Storms of Life“, I was looking back through my journal and came across a poem I wrote at the time called “Stormy Winds”. Through it, I tried to express my feelings.

The good news is … we survived! Although we still are encountering various storms from time to time, our life is now characterized by a much greater degree of calm, along with gentle waves of peace and joy. Yet back then, I honestly wasn’t sure we would make it through that storm alive.

I share this as encouragement for you today – especially if you are in a storm of your own.

I set out to sea so long ago
Visions of exciting worlds
A strong vessel, weather-proven
A strong and energetic heart


Fellow sailors and travelers too
A map and a compass
Learning the ropes
The thrill of adventure in my bones


Oh the joy of catching the wind
Carried along by an invisible force
Momentum and power
Watch out world, here we come


Some rough seas along the way
Swirling winds, rainy days
Be strong, conquer fear
Stay the course, this will pass


Sunny days, warm delight
Feel the Father’s love
Like a shining light
From up above


Dark nights too
Hard to see ahead
Led by distant stars
Waiting for sunrise again


Then the storms
Wind, rain, and hail
Thunder and lightning
With a whip in their tail


Crashing waves
Breaking wood
Fearful companions
Will we survive?


Then peace and calm
A new day dawns
Faithful God
Hope is born


Now the perfect storm
A trifecta of winds
From every direction
Is this the end?


Seems like no way out
Abandon ship
Or crash the reef?
No idea what to do


Feeling weary and down
One storm too many
Weather-beaten and afraid
Not sure what’s ahead


Is there a light?
Is there a word?
Can peace conquer this storm?
God, I’m really not sure


At the mercy of the winds
Trying to stay the course
Yet afraid of the deep
Can I hold on much longer?


Only God knows


“The Lord has his way in the whirlwind and the storm.” Nahum 1:3. NKJV


[Lake Painting – The Perfect Storm by Michael Swanson]

2 thoughts on “Stormy Winds

  1. Thank you Mark. The storms are inevitable – sometimes they are spaced out and almost manageable but at other times they come one upon another. 2019 was like that for me – a daughter with 9 collapsed vertebrates unable to walk and suffering from a debilitating auto immune condition , I had my prostate removed because of advancing cancer and then my brother inexplicably took his life. At times I felt I had nothing to give to anyone – and yet in my great vulnerability and even confusion the school community gathered around me and people who would not claim any faith would tell me they were praying for me. As I reviewed 2019, I think it was as effective in ministry as I have ever had. God does indeed work through our vulnerability.
    Thank you for your vulnerability Mark
    Gerry Riviere

    1. Oh, wow. That sounds like an incredibly challenging year, Gerry. Thanks for sharing and I hope you are finding some comfort and hope in the midst of the grief and loss. We do grow and learn things in these times that times on the ‘mountain tops’ don’t teach us. God bless

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