BOOM! A clap of thunder shook the house, and rain began to pour down. "That sounded awfully close," said Camila in a shaky voice. "I hate storms."
"I know," Grandma said. "When I was your age, I'd go hide under the covers. I felt
safer if I didn't have to see the lightning."
"Why can't it just rain without all the thunder and lightning?" Camila asked. "Well," said Grandma, "did you know that when lightning hits the ground it breaks down nutrients in the soil so plants can use them?"
"Really?" asked Camila.
Grandma nodded. "That means lightning plays a part in helping plants grow." She
smiled. "Isn't it great that God takes even things that seem bad to us and uses them for a good purpose?"
Camila looked at her grandmother. "Well, sure, but storms can do damage too. So I hope you don't expect me to like them."
Grandma laughed. "No, we don't have to like them," she assured Camila, "but we can be thankful that they bring about something good." She winced as a flash of lightning was closely followed by a loud roll of thunder. "Storms of life can be that way too--the difficult things that happen to us. When we get hit by problems, we can trust God to help us grow as we go through them."
"Do nutrients come from them too?" Camila asked.
"In a way, they do. Difficult times often help us see that we need to rely on Jesus for help and strength," Grandma explained. "We grow spiritually as we learn to trust and lean on Him."
"I can see that's good," said Camila. "But it doesn't make it any easier when you're in the storm, does it?"
"Oh, but it does," said Grandma. "It makes it easier when we know Jesus is right there with us. It helps to remember that He'll not only see us through but will somehow use our difficult experience to help us grow to be more like Him."
Camila sighed. "Okay," she said, "but I don't have to like those kinds of storms either, do I?"
Grandma smiled. "No. Just remember that Jesus will help you through them and promises to use everything you face for good." Christine KellerHOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you going through a hard time right now? Are you in the middle of a storm? Perhaps you or someone you love is struggling with illness, or you feel like you’ve lost all your friends. If you know Jesus, you’re not alone, no matter what storm comes your way. He’s right there with you. Talk to Him about your problems and trust Him to bring good out of every situation.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Romans 5:3-4 (KJV)
We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. (NIV)