Friday, March 20, 2015

The Storm

During a walk in the woods, we came around a corner and saw this tree.
I was awestruck when I first saw it. Standing tall, 
with so many roots exposed. 
It had not died from the wind and the storms that had obviously ravaged it. 
Instead, it dug deeper, finding the life giving water that 
would continue to help it grow. 

I knew there were lessons in this tree.
One of those lessons is in the words I added below it.
Not my words, just a simple quote that seemed to fit.

So often, the storms of life toss us back and forth,
and they leave us uprooted, broken, damaged, defeated,
and sometimes we even feel dead inside. 

Christians aren't given a pass on this. We go through the storms too.
Sometimes we are stoic, while really thinking we should be stronger than we are.
Sometimes we break under the pain and pressure,
and forget that there is living water, that will never run dry.

And other times, we call out to the One who calms the storm.

Last week I heard a man by the name of Mark Hall speak about this.
He's the lead singer of a band called "Casting Crowns."

He's in a storm. 
He recently found out he has a cancerous tumor on his kidney. 
He's a husband, a father, a musician, and a minister.
He is also remembering WHO is in control of this. 
I was moved by his words.

You see, one of Casting Crowns biggest hits, cowritten by Mark Hall, is called:

"Praise You in This Storm"
"I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away"

There's a little more too.
Here's the link for this beautiful song, with Mark Hall singing the words.
I hope you have a few minutes to listen.

Maybe some of you have a friend or loved one 
going through a similar storm, like I do. 
Or maybe you're going through a storm yourself. 
I frequently fail during trials and storms. 
I forget WHO'S got this.
Or if I remember, I ask Him WHY He doesn't do it MY way.
He's all powerful, He can fix this. He can make it go away.
That's MY way.

And He just says
"Rest in Me. Can't you get that? I'm with you."

But all too often, I don't rest in Him. I forget to. I rest in fear.
I rest in self-pity. I rest in others. I rest in sadness. I rest in anger. I rest in shame. 
I rest in....(fill in the blank, there are so many others).

That's not rest. 
None of those things feel like rest. They feel like...What?

They feel like...I'm stuck in something I can't get myself out of,
and I'm spinning out of control.
Then He gently reminds me that HE has this,
Whatever "this" may be. 
And I can rest in Him.

The last words of the song are straight out of scripture:
"I lift my eyes up to the hills,
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth.
Ps. 121: 1-2

Oh, that I could remember these words every time a storm comes!

A couple of days ago Mark Hall had surgery, and now he's recovering.
His family is praising God that they caught it early.
I believe they'd be praising Him if they didn't, too.
"For You are who You are, no matter where I am"
is a line from the song.

One of my favorite "storm" verses is Luke 22: 31-32, although it doesn't 
use the word "storm" at all.
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat,
but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you,
when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."

That is Christ talking to Simon Peter. 
He's telling him that Satan is going to sift him like wheat.
(Think about the process of "sifting"'s "storm like" stuff!)
Then he's telling him that Satan had to ask His permission first.
(God is in control, remember that Satan
had to ask for permission to "sift" Job, too).
He's also telling him that He didn't tell Satan "No"
(that would be my choice!)
but instead, He (Christ) prayed for Peter.
He Intervened...
on Peter's behalf. 
(Just like He intervenes on our behalf).
And then He tells Peter that He prayed that his faith wouldn't fail,
and that when his (Peter's) faith is strong again,
he should use what he's learned to strengthen others.

I love that :) 
It's not always easy to share our storms,
they're painful, they show our vulnerability, they expose the real us,
but they can also help someone who is facing a similar storm.
I'm thankful that Mark Hall was willing to expose his.
He reminds us that storms hit everyone,
but we never have to be alone in the midst of one.
"and every tear I've cried,
You hold in your hand
You never left my side"

Btw, here's a photo of Casting Crowns newest album cover.

Thrive :)
and a tree showing it's deep roots.

 I hadn't seen this until after I started writing this post.
After, I'd chosen that old, deep rooted tree for the photo :)

Share the song with someone who's going through a storm,
because I'm pretty sure it will strengthen them too :)


  1. I try really hard to remember who is in control! I know there are SO many who are hurting for various reasons! Thank you for this wonderful post! I am going back to listen to the song! Love the lyrics! Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

    1. I hope you enjoy it Theresa. Thank you too for your kind comments and for checking in. It means alot :)

  2. Marcia- What a beautiful post. It is hard to remember to turn it over sometimes. I do...and then I reclaim it and take it That song is just beautiful..the lyrics are anyway. My audio is not working on my computer. It is an on/off depending on the day.

    Thanks for popping by my blog, too! xo Diana

    1. I do the same Diana. I give it to Him, only to take it back time and time again. I hope you'll find a way to listen to the song. It's beautiful!

  3. That is beautiful, and such good words to read. I like your tree that you found, because living in a desert it is harder for your roots to find that life giving water. I think it is with us sometimes, trials happen so fast that we forget whose we are. That is one of my favorite passages about Peter.
    So glad to see you posting. Very thought provoking.

    1. Thank you do much for your kind words. The tree was actually in our local mountains. We are close to them and they are a beautiful sight every day. There was no water to be seen though, but these roots had obviously found some :) I agree that when trials come on quickly we are prone to forget Who controls the storm, and Whose we are. Thank you again.

  4. One of my favorite psalms. Love the lyrics and thanks for the reminder.

    1. Thank you Carol. The older I get, the more all the psalms mean to me :)

  5. I think this is something that God is trying to get me to let Him handle it. Thank you for this beautiful post!

    1. Thank you Karen. I'm in the same boat with you there. I'm so thankful God is patient with me as He has to teach me this over and over again :)

  6. Hi Marcia, I am glad to see you post again. Love that song! Towards the end, when the girls chimed in, I got goosebumps. That's what good music does to me. :) I'm glad to hear that Mark Hall has a good prognosis after surgery. One of our teachers at school just returned to Texas for her sister's funeral. 2 years ago she donated bone marrow and everything was going good for her, but recently she started to have pain in certain parts of her body only to find out she had small tumors in all of her joints. She passed away rather quickly, before Jude could even get there to see her one last time. So very sad. Sending hugs and blessings your way, Tammy

  7. A wonderful post, Marcia, and I love the beautiful song. I'm afraid that I too often try telling God what to do instead of resting in the assurance that he is in control and letting him work it out for my best. Thanks for your visit, it's so good to see you! Blessings, Cheryl

  8. Hi Marcia, like I always say, "God is so much bigger then mans junk" hard to give it to the Lord to the. Not take it back thinking we can help him fix it. Surrender to him, trust in him, placing all faith in the healer of all.
    We have a dear friend who is going through this very ordeal who needs all the prayers she can get, she is a friend here that is so rooted with Gods word and is standing in faith for a healing, indeed God is in control here.

    I love the song, and I am big on Casting Crowns I weep at the words and melody.
    So much promise in the word.

    Thank you love for visiting me, and I know the owners very well at Desert Cottage, next time you are in there mention I am sending my love and will see them soon.
    My Hannahs friends sister has a space the family is so dear to us... Aubrey Davis, Johnson she does all the ethereal whites.
    Yes we have to set a date and meet soon, perhaps at the desert cottage.

    I am blessed to have read your message.


  9. i'm so very thankful for this reminder .. what a loving encouragement. and needful. continually it seems. bless you dearly (((hugs)))

  10. That picture of the root represents the message of this article so well. If our faith is rooted deeply, no storm can uproot us. :)

  11. It was so motivating to read your post.
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Not long after my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's I received Casting Crown's Lifesong album as a gift. Praise You in This Storm seemed written just for me--my prayers are with Mark Hall and my thanks to you for this post.

  13. Oh Marcia ~ thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving your sweet and encouraging words. My heart just breaks that you are traveling this same journey of loss and pain. But having the faith of even a tiny mustard seed with see us both through, as God carries us along -- safe, secure, and loved -- in his strong arms. Bless you, sweetie. I will be keeping you in my prayers, and please know that I am here for you if you need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. Sending you loving hugs. ♥ Bless you!

    xoxo laurie

  14. I really love this song! As I grow older I recognize deeper truths, that God wields all things to bring us to the place He wants us to be. But He never leaves us or forsakes us.



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