Nahum 1

Blow that layer of dust off the Book of Nahum in your Bible and catch a glimpse of the last part of verse three, chapter one: "The way of the Lord is in the whirlwind and in the storm" (Berkeley Version).

That's good to remember when you're caught in a rip-snortin' Texas frog strangler as I was last week. I reminded myself of God's presence as the rain-heavy, charcoal-coloured clouds were split apart by lightning's eerie fingers and the air shook with earth-shattering, ear-deafening reports of thunder. Once again the Lord, the God of the heavens, was having His way in the whirlwind and the storm.

But how about those storms of life? What about the whirlwinds of disease, disaster, and death? What about the storms of interruptions, irritations, and ill-treatment? Well, if Nahum's words apply to the heavenly sphere, they also apply to the earthly—to the heart-rending contingencies of daily living.

Life is filled with God-appointed storms. A sheet of paper 10 times this size would be insufficient to list the whirlwinds of our lives. But two things should comfort us in the midst of daily lightning and thunder. First, we all experience them. Second, we all need them. God has no method more effective. The massive blows and shattering blasts (not to mention the small, constant irritations) smooth us and humble us and force us to submit to the role He has chosen for us.

William Cowper could take the stand in defence of all I have written. He passed through a period of great crisis in his life. Finally one bleak morning he tried to put an end to it all by taking poison. The attempt at suicide failed. He then hired a coach and was driven to the Thames River, intending to throw himself from the bridge but was "strangely restrained." The next morning he fell upon a sharp knife but the blade broke! He later tried to hang himself but was found and taken down unconscious...still alive. Some time later he took up a Bible, began to read the Book of Romans, and was gloriously saved. The God of the storms had pursued him unto the end and won his heart.

After a rich life of Christian experiences, Cowper sat down and recorded his summary of the Lord's dealings in the familiar words: "God moves in a mysterious way / His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea, / and rides upon the storm." 

Before the dust settles, why not ask God to have His way in today's whirlwind and storm?


Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.