I wrote the following poem when I was in my twenties. I had just experienced a devastating loss, and I thought I was going to burst from the pain and hurt. When I walked into work, the first line of this poem came into my mind, and the rest spilled out in less than ten minutes.
When the words started to form, I was in a desperate search for pen and paper to capture what was flowing like a person who is ready to vomit and runs to make it to the trashcan on time. It’s a pretty disgusting analogy, but I felt like if I didn’t write it down quickly, I would miss the paper, and it would have been lost forever.
Over twenty years later, I still have it memorized even though it’s in a folder under my bed with the rest of my heart explosions written on random pieces of paper I grabbed to capture my thoughts.
I think I memorized this one because it gives me comfort still. It captures a moment in time when all seemed lost until my Savior stepped in. I don’t think these moments of pain ever stop coming on this side of Heaven, but when they do come, it’s a wonderful reminder that we don’t have to panic or get caught up in the gust of wind that seems to be tossing us to and fro. The winds don’t own us—Christ does. I thought I would break down the poem into its parts and talk about how important it is to let go and give into our faith. God’s promises never fail no matter how big of a storm is brewing.
To follow my train of thought, you can insert your storm experience that seems to be overtaking you right now: a broken marriage, a wayward child, a sick family member, a broken heart, a lost dream, a missed loved one…
In a whirlwind I became,
That treacherous gust ripping the plain.
How often have we created a windstorm in our lives by willingly stepping into a situation that wasn’t good for us or getting caught up in the cyclone from circumstances that were out of our control? Whatever the reason, we suddenly find ourselves whip-lashed by the spinning and churning that occurred faster than we could put two thoughts together. It quickly feels like forever ago since we last felt normal. Our stomachs are aching from the constant chaos, and we wonder if this will ever stop.
Then midnight struck creating a lamb,
Within the eye of this horrendous sham.
When we have a second to breathe and take inventory of the situation, we wonder what is the best course to take. We process and plan trying to decide if we go left or turn right, what will be the potential outcome? We feel out of sorts and disoriented and the solution can seem just as far from our grasp as the problem. Which road is the right one? Which decision, life choice, or focus will help to stop these winds?
Leary, tired, and dizzy I was,
Horrified, crazed, and lost because
When those feelings of being overwhelmed are almost too much to take, we wonder if we will ever experience peace and joy again. Every effort forward can feel like walking through a big pool of Jello®—a ton of energy exerted with very little movement forward. Why aren’t our attempts at fixing the issues working? Why are the solutions so elusive and the problems so overbearing? We are trying after all! Our best efforts are futile and our need to control the circumstances becomes weaker and weaker.
Across the perimeter of this soulless storm,
Loomed the other half booming its warn
Time’s up! No rest for the weary. No solution=problems are still winning. Our thoughts, our desires, our every fiber of self-will can’t seem to erase this fortress around us. Why is this not leaving! Round two can feel like it will take us out. Another marital argument? Another bill that is months overdue? Another doctor’s appointment or referral to a specialist? Another bout of depression or fear of the future? A funeral arrangement that was unexpected and left you broken? What more can we possibly take?
That once again I will be ripped apart,
Unless I offer God my heart
Deep down we always knew the answer. We struggle against the ties that are binding us and try so hard to solve our own problems. We know this, but that doesn’t keep us from trying it on our own. Is God really bigger than this problem I am facing? Does He even care that I am drowning right now? Does He even notice that I am coming up for a breath and my head is barely above the water? God does notice and He does care very deeply, but He can’t force Himself upon us. He wants us to humble ourselves, lay down our self-will, and offer up to Him our faith and trust. Can we do that?
To guide, protect, and love me from this
Shadowed, cold, lifeless twist
This issue, this problem is all encompassing. I may be getting a glimpse of the truth that maybe my problems are bigger than me. They are towering over anything I throw at them and they are looking at me and laughing. They have no concern for me and will toss me where they may. Will I keep letting them?
Whose knees know no ground to pray
And offers me no light of way
When we bend to our problems and succumb to their whims, we give up our strength, close our eyes, and silently pray that this will all end soon. We make the decision that we will deal with the aftermath then. God wants more for you than just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. He sacrificed everything to give you the best, and He is ready to lead you away from the darkness and into the light.
So I chose my hand to reach for Him,
Praying that He could stop the winds,
That moment when we finally humble ourselves before the Lord. Why did this take so long? I tend to go through this cycle with each setback that comes my way. Sometimes I have to be brought to my knees in my stubbornness before I allow the truth to come into my heart that this isn’t for me to bear on my own. Whether we allowed this twist to enter our lives with open arms or it hit us from behind, God is with us, He will restore our peace and joy, He will forgive us if our sinful decision caused the fury, and has the answers that we seek. Then I remembered:
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is my stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps. 27:1) NIV
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (Ps. 55:22) NIV
Then the Hand I thought was gone,
Turned my lamb into
I feel like I ran a marathon. All of the struggle to maintain control and all of the fighting to convince myself I can do this by myself just made the winds blow stronger. My Lord took them from me. Whenever I cast my cares on Him, He never lets me down. My pride keeps me at the helm of my ship through wind and rain, but my Lord often has to remind me who the real captain of my life is.
Christ is our guiding light and saving Grace. Let Him calm your winds. Lift up your Shield of Faith and let the winds be diverted away from you allowing you to experience His calming presence. It’s a personal decision that we have to make daily. Our shields are much more effective when they are put out in front of us and not held behind our backs.
I pray for the winds to be calmed in your life, and you feel Jesus wrapping you in His wellspring of love and mercy. In Jesus precious name I pray. Amen.