Stormy beginnings

calm-before-storm-1We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in 2014.  Married life began in a storm, and what a storm.  It was a one in 20 year weather event, apparently.  It had gone on for a week and shown no signs of abating.

The month of February is full on summer in NZ and we thought the weather would be good for our wedding.  Wrong!

I think it was because we had a big  evangelistic crusade in New Zealand at the time, and it had gone to Wellington, our capital which was only two hours away.  The campaign, Impact World Tour was brilliant because all the churches of different denominations came together and worked as one to reach people for the Lord.  We were all involved in different ways.

The devil didn’t like it and tried to rain out all the venues.  It was a spiritual battle.  The only problem was our wedding was being affected by the weather too.  I should have thought about it more when we chose the date.

Everyone asked us what plan B was for the weather.  There was no plan B.  My fiancee decided to go ahead with having the ceremony in the garden.  It had a strange calm about it, even though the wind blew through the trees around this place named Homestead Garden.

There is a scripture in Isaiah 25:4 that describes God as being a refuge in the storm. 

Homestead Garden b&w

Homestead garden

When we got married we invited God to the wedding, which went off without a hitch in an island of calm, with radiant sunshine.  Our guests  got sunburnt.  All the other outdoor weddings that day got rained out and blown out.  People were amazed that the storm didn’t touch us.  I’ve never known such favour.

As we were saying our vows, two Monarch butterflies fluttered their way across the lawn in front of us.  It was a beautiful sign to be given.  The butterfly has turned up at different places in the story.

You’ll see the butterfly emerge in Chapter 5 of my book ‘The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams.’.  It flutters into the story again in Chapter 8, ‘Shelter in the Storm.’  This time, it’s not alone.

Here are a few photos of our wedding in the storm.

Windy wedding 2 Our wedding at Homestead Garden 3 resized Windy wedding 1

 

 

Out of the storm

Job 38-1Have you ever asked, “Where is God?” 

Lt. Dan in the movie Forrest Gump certainly did, asking Forrest “where’s this God of yours then?” Forrest remarked, “Its really funny that Lt. Dan said that, because right then, God showed up.”  I like the scene because this puny man is having a big fight with God.

“You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride; And You dissolve me in a storm.”  Job 30:22

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 God must have answered Lt. Dan in the storm because when it ended, he was at peace, a changed man.

Sometimes, God’s answer is in the storm.  There is a scripture that says “Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm.  Job 38:1″  

rainbow

That’s how it happened for me.   I wasn’t as defiant as Lt. Dan, but emotionally I felt just as amputated.

The question “where was God?” caused friction with one of my friends, but its a question I had to ask.  It is okay to question and ask God where He was.  We’ve got to be real.

Some years ago, I had my own storm.  I wasn’t able to call God “Father”, just Lord.   I believe the word “Father” has a lot more trust in it than “Lord”.  Finally, I asked God “Where were you when my only brother died?”

His answer is in my book.

After God answered, I had peace, just like Lt. Dan.  Now I am able to call Him Father.

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms the soul.