I read a devotional today that said Faith grows amid storms. I thought how true that is and considering the storms I’ve been in, I should have faith like iron. I am still working on that. Faith growing storms are generated by the supernatural and that is where we have to believe in what we cannot see with our eyes. The storms are disturbances in the spiritual atmosphere and are conflicts with hostile elements.
Years ago I used to love to ride to the summit of San Gorgonio or Old Greyback the highest peak in Southern California at 11,503 feet. It towers above the desert I was raised in, the most familiar and beloved site in my world. Across the pass is San Jacinto but I always preferred San Gorgonio because the trail was a little easier and less scary. At points it also looked down on my home town far below in the desert.
The higher you rode the fewer the trees until a few hundred feet from the summit where only a few twisted and bent trees grew. The wind blows constantly and strong at that level and several feet of snow and ice beats against them in winter. There are never too many really good days with no trials for those trees. Yet they are very old and hard as iron. The devotion I read spoke of staunch trees that are giant in stature from the storms but not all trees subject to storms become visible giants. Many are like my gnarly pines a few hundred feet below the summit where the storms and harsh weather keep them from growing as tall as their relatives a few hundred feet lower.
They aren’t giants among pines but they are tough and able to stand the worst storms even if they are somewhat bent and twisted with few branches and needles. Maybe because I am getting older now I relate more to those pines than the tall giants. There are giants in the spiritual world that get everyone’s attention but I like to think of the many smaller spiritual people out there who have weathered their own share of storms and stand tall in faith even if small in stature.
That trail to the summit of San Gorgonio is steep, rocky, and narrow with blasts of wind that threatened to blow me off of my horse. The spiritual storms can come over us in the same manner with blasts of hell that will almost blow us over.
I’ve been on mountain trails that got so bad I’d get off my horse and walk but I kept going forward, determined to reach the summit. In the same way I have held on through spiritual storms and trials when everything in me wanted to give up, turn tail and run away. Sometimes I did too but eventually I’d try again until I made it through the storm. And yes my faith was stronger each time and it didn’t slip back but continued to grow stronger with each attack.
I sometimes feel like those old trees up there on the top of Old Greyback, a little bent, worn and still standing and fighting the storms after many years. The trials and storms don’t seem to go away just because you reach a certain age. In my case they seem to have increased. But now I welcome them because I know that I will find God in the center of the storms and there He will impart another gem of Grace from His vast storehouse and my faith will take another step toward the point where all the demons of hell won’t cause me to waver. That is right where I want to be and I won’t give up until I have that kind of faith and an even closer walk with my Lord.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.