Who of us, particularly as caretakers, has not experienced storms in our lives and the
sense that this could be our undoing? In the darkness, and harshness of life, our faith is put to
the test. The storms of life can be frightening and suffering, and hardship can give way to real
loss. To strengthen this faith, we need a strong foundation and frequent encounters with the
Lord, who is always with us, speaking to us, and showing us how to navigate each situation.
Life circumstances can harden our hearts. We can become increasingly resentful and
afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us.
Choose wisely. When anxious moments come and waiting seems all we can do, look for signs of
God’s love. They are everywhere. For me recently on the day I moved from a house I shared
with my husband for twenty-nine years, I found a twig in the shape of a resurrected cross. I
sensed God saying, with the loss of my husband, as hard as this grief is, there are resurrection
Every encounter with the Lord strengthens our zeal and can deepen our faith a little bit
more. We may experience Him as reviving us if we have become discouraged or indifferent and
can trust we will receive help to let go of unforgiveness or impatience. Since we are in the
Advent Season, let us reflect on the storms Mary and Joseph encountered – an unplanned
pregnancy, an uncomfortable journey to Bethlehem, a hurried journey to Egypt and I do not
think Jesus was easy to raise, particularly when they could not find Him.
Stories in the Bible do not offer much detail, but that doesn’t mean those situations
were simple to navigate or that trust in God came easily. Mary and Joseph were human like us
and probably faced a host of questions, emotions and fears just as we do. Because the Lord was
already their firm foundation, they listened to His word, trusted that He knew what was best
for them and did what He was asking. They were most familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures, and
I can see them praying, Isaiah 12:2, “God indeed is my Savior; I am confident and unafraid. My
strength and my courage is the Lord and He has been my Savior.” Most likely they were afraid
and followed through anyway, which mirrors our lives, do it afraid.
Prayer reflection – Put yourself in Mary and Joseph’s shoes and imagine what they must
have felt or thought. Then think of your own storm experience now. How can you listen, trust,
and obey? How can you make your foundation in Christ even stronger than it is now? Only as
we turn to God, can we see beyond appearances and remember God’s faithfulness.