>Quieting the Storm

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Today I went to Rite Aid and had the disposable camera my son took to Outward Bound developed. This was one of his pictures. I know it looks like the ocean in the background, but he’s actually standing on top of a 10,000+ foot mountain in Southern Central Oregon, one of the Three Sisters (ETA: We talked to him today and asked him about the picture. It is Middle Sister, also known as “Hope”); the white in the background is the glaciers. The instrument in his hand is the ice axe he had to use to climb the glaciers.
Here’s a distance shot of the Three Sisters:

Family Week was an awesome and amazing experience and it leads me to ask, Why does God wrap my biggest blessings in crap? Why? Couldn’t I have sat here all self-satisfied with my parenting job well-done, patting myself on the back and feeling cozy and superior and still learned something wonderful? No, I guess not. It just wasn’t in the cards.

But by going through a trial more difficult than getting off drugs myself and more painful than childbirth and way more terrifying than seeing my precious daughter get married at 19 (which, trust me, no matter how wonderful the guy was, was terrifying), I’ve learned that God is miraculous. And He’s ultimately totally unexpected.

Don’t think I’m sugar-coating anything. The worst is yet to come and we are far from out of this desert. Far from it. Anything and everything is possible, and that’s so scary to a control-freak like myself. But the fact that God routinely offers the possibility of the impossible is what keeps bringing me home to Him. What miracle will He do next? How in the world is He going to form beauty from this pile of ashes that I’ve got here?

The miracle here isn’t my son. That miracle was performed 18 years ago. The fact that the Lord blessed me with children at all is a miracle and completely undeserved. The fact that He gave me two beautiful, healthy children who have been mostly a complete joy to raise should be miracle enough. Some people never even get that. I appall myself with my greed and avarice when it comes to blessings. Like a spoiled little brat in a Roald Dahl novel, I stand here stamping my feet and demanding, “Why God don’t you give me some more?”

Who was I to think that God ought to cause only roses to grow in my garden…and thornless roses at that?

No, the miracle here isn’t my son; the miracle is in me.

I love the story where Jesus is sleeping while the discliples are scrambling about terrified that at any moment their boat will sink in the storm. My little boat has been taking on quite a bit of water lately and I’ve wondered if my Lord and Savior was suffering from a severe case of narcolepsy. Or maybe He’d just disembarked and forgotten about me.

But He is here and awake and my internal storm is quiet and maybe, just maybe, someday I will actually learn to be anxious for not quite so much and to be content in just a few things. (baby steps. it starts with baby steps.)

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:29)

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9 thoughts on “>Quieting the Storm

  1. >(((Chloe)))I’ve been learning that He didn’t promise a quiet journey across that lake–just that He intends to get us to the other side. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.–ProgressingPilgrim

  2. >That’s a lot of perspective for just one week.That perspective, and your ability to express it so very well, are two more gifts from God.Why does it all come wrapped in crap?Crap, my dear, is the very stuff of life. It is the fertilizer out of which your fruitfulness comes.II Corinthinans 4:7 says:But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from GOD and not from US. (emphasis mine)Later in vs.17 Paul says:For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.And before you scoff at the words “light and momentary” troubles, consider for a moment that Christians during Paul’s times were persevering at the risk of losing their livelihood, and even their lives in some cases.I know your troubles have been neither light nor momentary to you. But step back for even more of that glorious perspective that He is already giving you. Allow yourself the pleasure of a glimpse of the masterpiece that He is surely creating in your life and in Wolfie’s life.This all-surpassing power, the power to create such a masterpiece, the power to create beauty from ashes, the power to extract treasure from an earthen vessel, a clay jar – this comes from God, and not you. What else can you and the rest of us who are observing the masterpiece do but praise the Hand of the Master at work?

  3. >Growing pains hurt, don’t they? I’m glad that you are seeing the blessings and the growth through this whole mess. God is faithful, even when we’re lame or others let us down.Here’s the quote my mom had by our kitchen sink growing up. It came to mind as I read your post.”Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms his child.”

  4. >I hope this isn’t too weird, but I just set that pic as my desktop background…for a few reasons.~ My husby has climbed those mountains, and he’s always inspired by pics like that~ It’ll remind me to pray for your family more oftenand~ It makes my eyes misty with hope

  5. >”There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” ~ Willa CatherPraying for you, dear Chloe, and the Tick, PSP and that precious boy of yours.

  6. That's a lot of perspective for just one week.That perspective, and your ability to express it so very well, are two more gifts from God.Why does it all come wrapped in crap?Crap, my dear, is the very stuff of life. It is the fertilizer out of which your fruitfulness comes.II Corinthinans 4:7 says:But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from GOD and not from US. (emphasis mine)Later in vs.17 Paul says:For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.And before you scoff at the words "light and momentary" troubles, consider for a moment that Christians during Paul's times were persevering at the risk of losing their livelihood, and even their lives in some cases.I know your troubles have been neither light nor momentary to you. But step back for even more of that glorious perspective that He is already giving you. Allow yourself the pleasure of a glimpse of the masterpiece that He is surely creating in your life and in Wolfie's life.This all-surpassing power, the power to create such a masterpiece, the power to create beauty from ashes, the power to extract treasure from an earthen vessel, a clay jar – this comes from God, and not you. What else can you and the rest of us who are observing the masterpiece do but praise the Hand of the Master at work?

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