HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“ And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.” (Mark 4:37).
The hymn writer puts it this way, “All the storms will soon be over and we shall anchor safely in the harbour.” It is a question we have to ask ourselves as to where we are in the storm of life? Are we on the ocean still sailing or are we ashore after the storm?
Some of the storms of life come suddenly: a great sorrow, a bitter disappointment, a crushing defeat. Some come slowly. They appear upon the ragged edges of the horizon no larger than a man’s hand, but, trouble that seems so insignificant spreads until it covers the sky and overwhelms us.
Yet it is in the storm that God equips us for service. When God wants an oak He plants it on the moor where the storms will shake it and the rains will beat down upon it, and it is in the midnight battle with elements that the oak wins its rugged fibre and becomes the king of the forest.
When God wants to make a man He puts him into some storm. The history of manhood is always rough and rugged. No man is made until he has been out into the surge of the storm and found the sublime fulfilment of the prayer: “O God, take me, break me, make me.” It is being battered and bruised with the fierce winds when the trees have lost some of its branches in the struggle. It is after the storm has past and you look at the landscape you’ll be able to tell the destruction or the damage of the forest. That is how God moves man through the storms of life until they are bruised and weak after shaken by the trials and temptation sometimes from within the family or the church. The hardest battle is fought right in the church.
A Frenchman has painted a picture of universal genius. There stand orators, philosophers and martyrs, all who have achieved pre-eminence in any phase of life; the remarkable fact about the picture is this: Every man who is pre-eminent for his ability was first pre-eminent for suffering. In the foreground stands that figure of the man who was denied the promised land, Moses. Beside him is another, feeling his way–blind Homer. Milton is there, blind and heart-broken. Now comes the form of one who towers above them all. What is His characteristic? His Face is marred more than any man. The artist might have written under that great picture, “The Storm.”
The beauties of nature come after the storm. The rugged beauty of the mountain is born in a storm, and the heroes of life are the storm-swept and the battle-scarred.
You have been in the storms and swept by the blasts. Have they left you broken, weary, beaten in the valley, or have they lifted you to the sunlit summits of a richer, deeper, more abiding manhood and womanhood? Have they left you with more sympathy with the storm-swept and the battle-scarred?
I am asking you today to show me your storm? Show me your beauty not with make-up but the scars of life after your storm are over. That is what God wants to see in the men and women that are carrying this message to the great unknown.