In the middle of the storm, if you know God is with you, you feel different than most of the people around you.
The feeling is not an absence of fear. Fear pops up. It is not that doubt stops rearing its head. Doubt is there to remind you what matters. Sadness is an eternal experience, created to force us into rebuilding broken patterns.
The feeling of God with you, however, changes the quality of the difficult and painful experiences.
Whatever you face, you can pull yourself back from negativity quicker. You catch yourself on the slippery slope to panic and realize you have a choice. You find yourself in the middle of real disaster and you know it is part of a bigger story.
Does this sound too good to be true?
How do we arrive in this place?
A woman came out of her bathroom after the hurricane. She had weathered it in the tub. What she saw when she walked out her front door was a bent world. Trees, roofs, cars, and telephone poles. What had been straight was now on the ground or on its way. Her heart stopped. Then, it started again.
Then she heard a bird and watched it land on a tree wind-pushed to the ground. She saw a neighbor beginning to pile up branches like firewood. She saw the broken window on her own house and imagined a new paint color for the trim.
Does it sound too good to be true?
When we constantly remind ourselves that God is with us, this is how all moments can feel.