Updated: Aug 1, 2021
An intense storm just swept through our area with whipping winds and buckets of rain. I do like a good storm! After the squall passed and I left the house, I saw there were sticks all over the ground and on our deck, where chairs had been blown over. The scene was chaotic.
A thought and then a question hit me as I was driving away - severe storms bring chaos and leave debris and destruction everywhere. Does a storm like that have a purpose? Seeing all those branches brought John 15:2 to my mind, where it says that “every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear MORE fruit.” It occurred to me that storms are a way for nature to prunes its trees. Stiff winds and heavy rain have a way of bringing down those dead branches.
The size of a storm can be seen by the amount of ‘pruning’ that takes place. In a similar way, the evidence of the Lord’s pruning in us may be equivalent to the pruning the Lord desires to do in us. In the Bible, God’s presence shows up in the form of a cloud. The cleansing of unrighteousness comes by water (rain), and the power of the Holy Spirit as wind. All three of these elements were on display in this latest storm that passed through.
We can choose to look at a storm in many ways, but here are two of them: 1) storms are merely a destructive force that brings nothing with it but chaos, or 2) storms actually serve the purpose of pruning His creation! I submit that those who can only see the chaos may not have a "heavenly" view of storms, while those who see it as pruning are able to witness God at work. I believe He uses the storms in our life as it says in John 15:2, and we can find peace and joy in Him, even during those storms.
Here’s a final thought. With all the branches and chaos caused by the storm, AKA pruning, we need to ask, “What are we going to do with all the debris, sticks, and messed up deck chairs?” Should we hang on to these remains as a remembrance? Or will we treat the debris as the Lord does? Let him burn it up because it doesn't produce His desired effects in our lives? I see storms as a necessary aspect of my Christian walk. I see storms as showing the love God has for me, to destroy the dead things in me, in order to bring out His best in me.
I don't choose to see the storms in my life as a way that He is punishing me for past, present, or future mistakes I have made, or will make. Satan uses storms to destroy us, but God uses them to prune us! Glory and praise to God!
Kevin Weston, 02-07-2020
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