What an unbelievable storm we had in Atlanta yesterday afternoon! Southern summer storms are so fascinating to me, and I am often surprised by how quickly and unexpected they arrive. One minute it’s beautiful and sunny, the next dark and treacherous. Like summer storms, the proverbial storms in our own lives can seem to appear out of nowhere. Fierce, frightening, harsh, and unexpected, these storms have the power to rock our worlds and leave a lot of emotional damage in their wakes.
In my work as a counselor, I frequently hear people say, “I’m just bracing for something bad to happen,” or “I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.” Of course, it is natural to want to protect ourselves from pain, suffering, hurt or rejection. It is a very human characteristic. However, when we brace for the “next bad thing” or build emotional walls to self-protect, we also prevent ourselves from experiencing a lot of wonderful things in life. By cushioning your heart you may not experience hurt or pain as intensely, but my guess is you also miss out on a lot of joy, deep connecting and authentic living. More importantly, when we self-protect we deprive God the opportunity to show up in BIG ways on our behalf. When I allow myself to become emotionally hardened by the storms in this life, I rob Him of the chance to show up as my Hero, my Comforter, my Defender, my Provider, my Protector, my Nurturer, my Friend and the list goes on.
In trying and painful times in my own life, I’ve been encouraged to ask God, “Lord, who are you in this?” It is such a different question than the usual, “Why is this happening?” or “What are You doing in this?” The question, “Who are You?” seeks to know Him and His character, rather than seeking to make sense of my circumstances or trying to wrap my human mind around a situation I so desperately want to understand.
You see, God loves to show us who He is. He wants us to know Him intimately, to know His character. Oftentimes, He shows us pieces of His character in different life storms: In certain times, for example, He may show up as your Defender, while in others He may prove to be your Comforter. The beauty of His character is that it does not change. He can never NOT be who He says He is.
Are you going through storms in your own life? If so, I would encourage you to ask God who He is in midst of it. You might be surprised by the answer! The “who” question has been a game-changer for me in my own life, and I would love to hear what it does in yours. If you have any questions or would like to know more, contact me. I’d certainly love to hear from you!