Everybody’s heart is open, you know, when they have recently escaped from sever pain, or are recovering the blessing of health, and Nurse Rooke thorough understands when to speak. ~ Mrs. Smith, Persuasion by Jane Austen

I’m reading this book, Ruth: Diamond in the Rough by Dr. Edward Hernandez, that talks about how God uses the worst things in our life to wake us up. To get us to look up from what is going on around us and see Him. Like Nurse Rooke, but in a way derived from love and not need for gossip, God knows when to speak. God knows when, in the midst of our storms, to show up for the rescue. It is not when we are striving to save ourselves. It is when we give up being in control, look up to him, and realize where our help comes from.

Romans 8:28 says that God uses everything for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes. Everything in our lives, when we love God and are following Him, is in the process of working out for our ultimate good. Sometimes we can see it, but if we hold tight to Him and do not let go, there is a blessing at the end of the storm.

Living in South Florida, I’ve been through my fair share of hurricanes. Now we have hurricane impact windows, but before we had wood and then shutters. The thing with shutters (and wood) is that they allow no light into the house. So you’re stuck in blackness with no electricity and just a few flashlights while the noises of the storm rage around you. The whole time you have no idea what you are going to open the door to when it is over—or if your house is going to hold up long enough to see the end of the storm. I had a friend who was lying in their bed during Wilma when the roof flew off their room—not a good time. But, eventually the hurricane dies down as it moves on. The winds settle. The doors open, and you find out what happened. My uncle once went outside and his shed was gone—he never found it. We went outside once and found our screened patio in a twisted heap of metal, and the pool looked like a swamp. Not to mention all the trees—days of clean up work—and my car being redecorated by shingles (two months of repairs later…).

But, amidst all this there is a peacefulness in the air. Communities band together. Neighbors help neighbors. Food and water are shared. It is actually quite beautiful what happens within the hearts of people after the storm. As if God brought good out of the darkness. And, I believe, he did and does.

God will bring the best out of the worst if we will trust in Him.