Enduring the Storms
By Raquel Arrais
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us–they help us learn to endure. Endurance then develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation” (Romans 5:3-5, NLT).
After flying for more than fifteen years, I have learned that storms up in the air are real, frequent and unexpected. Most of the time they are frightening, especially when the pilot cannot avoid turbulence.
When I left Johannesburg on my way to Mauritius Island, the weather was perfect—a sunny day and clear skies. I thanked God for the beautiful day as the plane took off. The flight was full, with passengers looking forward to the Indian Ocean’s turquoise waters. All of us were ready for a relaxing flight. After two hours, I noticed heavy dark clouds outside. Although the pilot said nothing, we were facing a cyclone. The plane started losing altitude, and heavy turbulence was inevitable. In situations like this, there is nothing you can do, nothing except pray and trust that God is in control. I prayed for a safe landing. I prayed for my life. I prayed for endurance during the long minutes of the flight, minutes that seemed like an eternity. All the passengers were silent. Not a sound. Minutes passed. Then, the pilot’s voice: “Prepare for landing.” We were safe. Safe! Landing! Praise God! I survived the cyclone in the air.
Life is filled with storms of one kind or another. In the midst of those storms, we tend to respond as if God has somehow been caught off guard. The storm makes no sense. We can’t explain why terminal illness strikes godly people. The anguish of a broken marriage or the overwhelming heartbreak of a prodigal child drives us to doubt God’s purpose, plan and provision. The fear of financial ruin paralyzes us. God understands. Why? Because He knows us (Psalm 139). And He is the only one who can use the storms in a positive way.
God uses our trials and storms as tools of refinement to build in us endurance. The word endure comes from two Greek words that when combined, give the meaning “to remain under.” It is the capacity to stay under the load, to remain in the circumstances without running away or looking for the easy way out. God can help us develop endurance. He can help us remember His promise: “Be still, I am God.” Trust.
When I landed in Port Louis that night amid a heavy rain, I learned anew a wonderful lesson: God is more powerful than the storms.
No matter what storm rages in your life today—no matter how fierce the winds or how high the waves may be—where you are is no surprise to God. Heaven is not in a panic. Keep your gaze on Him and your glance on the raging waters. Trust in His leading, and He will supply everything you need to stand firm in the storm. Do not be afraid. Storms are not forever. They pass and soon you will have a safe landing. Trust. Endure. God is with you today and always.
Raquel Arrais, MA, is associate director of Women’s Ministries for the Seventh-day Adventist World Church.
World Church Prayer Requests
October 20 - 27, 2019
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for Women’s Ministries and the women in your local church.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for the Men’s Ministries in your local church, and if there is no specific ministry, pray for the men of your church.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for the families represented in your local church, that God would put a hedge of protection around the homes and hearts of each one.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for the marriages represented in your church. Pray for these marriages to be strong testimonies of God’s glory. Pray that the enemy would not be able to get a foothold or bring division between husbands and wives.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for the children of your church. Perhaps some are struggling more than others. Pray for each of these children by name.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for our young people to know Jesus personally, and choose to be laborers in the great harvest.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Finally, lift up the arms of your local pastor in prayer. It’s easy to criticize, but you can make a greater difference if you pray. Pray that God would strengthen him, fill him with the Holy Spirit, and use him in a mighty way to share the gospel.