The Calm Before the Storm: 5 Bible Verses to Give you Peace During a Storm
Fourteen years ago, Bo and I loaded up his car to move across the country to Los Angeles, California. We decided to enjoy the journey and took several detours along the way - one of which was to the Grand Canyon. When we arrived at an overlook, the sight took my breath away. The marble coloring of the canyon walls and the depth, width and grandeur left us in awe. As we stood on the South Rim and looked to our left, a wall of rain marched toward us. With each minute that passed, the pounding of the drops grew louder and louder like an advancing army. I have never seen a more beautiful storm. Peaceful and powerful. As the first drops plinked off of our heads, we learned quickly that it was hail, and not just rain. That explains the soldiers’ footsteps thundering from the gorge below. Joyful laughter had us out of breath as we ran for cover. It remains one of our favorite memories.
A few weeks back we had a rainy mess of a week. After school one day the thunder was so monstrous that it shook our house. Lena and I decided to sit by the front door to watch the rain and count the beats between lightening strike and thunder boom. "One Mississippi... two Mississippi... three..." We could hear, see and feel the storm getting closer and closer, but it never came to sit right upon us - the lighting and thunder never flashed and boomed simultaneously. The anticipation of the impending storm had all of our attention and energy, and yet it came to pass leaving behind a few still puddles in the driveway. Once the danger cleared, those puddles were promptly disturbed by rain boots, scooter races and lots of giggles.
As I watched the kids go up and down the paved driveway, looking back over the dark clouds that were moving away just as swiftly as they had come, I reflected over the previous hour. There was a nervous anticipation about this storm, especially since a seemingly NBD storm had flooded our home three years prior. It was a stark difference from the awe and peace I felt as we watched the rain fall across the Grand Canyon. That’s what comes from experience now that we have an understanding of what storms can do. Since the flood, my husband and I have, at times, allowed ourselves to be consumed with anticipation - overwhelming fear, anxiety or stress - over impending storms. Both literal and figurative storms.
How often do we allow the storm's nearness overshadow the nearness of God?
Have you ever stood in the middle of the storm and experienced God's presence beyond the expanse of the storm? A sudden peace and calmness that washes over you? God’s hand taking hold of you and protecting you from harm? Here are my top 5 favorite verses that keep me calm before and during a storm:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
“I lift my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth…. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life;” Psalm 121: 1-2, 7-8
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’” Mark 4:39-41
“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7
I encourage you to memorize these verses. Press them upon your hearts so that when the day of a storm is upon you, you can be reminded of the nearness of God and His faithful protection. He is pretty powerful - more powerful than any storm that may come your way.