The In Between
Everyone went with me to take the oldest to play practice yesterday. As we pulled up to a stop sign in our neighborhood, I looked to my right and the sky was dark and stormy. Then I looked to my left and the skies were blue and the sun was shining bright.
As we continued on, I was overwhelmed with the extremes and struck by the immense beauty of the contrast. The striking difference between the view out the left side and the right side of our car caused a stirring of wonder in me. The dark skies somehow made the sunshine more breathtaking.
As we looked toward the lake, we could see the streaks of rain in the sky, but instead of turning on my windshield wipers, I put on my sunglasses. And since sermon illustrations seem to follow me, I couldn’t let this one pass by. I told my kids that this is where we live, in between the storms and the sunshine.
The difficulties of life weigh heavy and sometimes it’s all we can do to hang on. We can’t see the sun. Dark clouds stretch as far as we can see. We feel hopeless.
Other times, life is joyous and everything seems touched by brightness. We can’t imagine the storms ever chasing us again, because we feel so happy.
But most days, we’re in the in between. The storms are looming AND the skies are blue. But when we recognize this, that life is hard AND full of delight, the darkness actually makes the light more vivid and stunning. Our struggles, our storms have a way of working in us a deeper and abiding joy than we ever could have imagined.
A song that has been particularly meaningful to me is “In the Eye of the Storm” by Ryan Stevenson. Perhaps it will encourage you too!
“When the solid ground is falling out from underneath my feet
Between the black skies, and my red eyes, I can barely see
When I realize I’ve been sold out by my friends and my family
I can feel the rain reminding me
In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm”
Whether you find yourself in a season of storms or in a time of joyous sunlight, I pray that you would rest in the Lord’s goodness. He is faithful to walk with us in the storm and in the calm. May our response always be “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21