Seeing beyond the storm.

But before very long there rushed down from the land a violent wind, called Euraquilo; and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along.” Acts 27:14,15.

Just because the Spirit came as a mighty rushing wind, does not mean that the Lord is behind every ‘storm’ that comes upon us. But for all the great storms of this life we have greater promises; “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28) and “in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37).

The unexpected ways in which God turns to our good, even that which comes to kill, steal and destroy us, is something that every believer sooner or later, comes to stand amazed at. But He gives us His Spirit, not so that we stand around as amazed spectators, but so that we step out into our new environments as amazed participants.

When he first washed up on Malta, Paul had to literally shake off the lie that God was against him (Acts 28:3-6) and as he did, not for the first time, unbelievers stared at how the life in this man overcame the world around him (Acts 16:25). By the time Paul finally departed Malta, that storm of destruction had been so ‘turned to the good’ that the only wind generations on that island would remember from that time, was the wind of the Spirit that blew across that island, bringing healing and salvation.

We too have been given the same Spirit that carried along those early disciples through every storm, by opening their eyes to who was with them; the One who causes all things to work together for good. Now if He is with us, then whenever a storm drives us to an unfamiliar place, all that has happened is that the presence of God can now manifest through His body in an unreached place.

We are not promised that this ‘turning to the good’ is a pain free process. When Jesus spoke to His disciples about entering the harvest field, He described the Lord of the harvest as ‘ejecting’ or ‘casting out’ workers into His harvest (Matt.9:38). If being cast out from behind our ‘structures’ into the harvest field is a good description of a move of the Holy Spirit, then let us take hold of the grace now available. Now is not the hour to stand on the shore of this new land, wondering how we can put the ship back together. Let us take what we can use from the old structure and head inland full of confidence, believing that generations to come will remember the new life we brought, long after they have forgotten the manner of our arrival.

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