I stood in my backyard, hands raised and head lifted, praising God for what He was doing in my life. Beyond the canopy of trees, a storm was brewing, but I didn’t notice. The vision God had set in my heart several years earlier had finally been fulfilled that evening.

I had written a Bible study, the concept of which had seemed too big for me at times. Life had gotten in the way—the closure of our business and home, my husband’s battle with cancer, multiple deaths in our family—so many things had delayed its completion. It had taken me four years to write the manuscript and another three to get it published. But as I kept my eyes on God and kept persevering, He made the way for the vision to be completed.

We had just finished the first night of study with a group from my church and community. It had been such a success! The joy in me was great, and I took my celebration outside. The oaks and pines seemed to lean in, listen, and join in my praise. I felt so protected, at peace, and blessed under those trees.

That safe and happy feeling vanished about 45 minutes later, when an unexpected tornado touched down. Thankfully, my family and I were safe in our home when the first sign of trouble began. Rain came in sheets, followed by hail and howling winds. But all that was forgotten when the guitars displayed on my son’s bedroom wall began to rattle.

And then, we heard it—the unmistakable sound of a tornado, like a train, coming toward us hard and fast. We ran to the designated safe place in our home and waited for the danger to pass. We prayed as we huddled together. When it was over, it was night and everything was dark, but our house still stood.

When daylight came, we found that most of the pines in our yard had snapped in half or been ripped apart at ground level. The majestic oaks had been pulled up by their roots. My canopy of trees was gone, and the yard where my children once peacefully played now looked like a war zone. Yet, our home had been spared, and we were grateful.

You know, I had expected pushback from Satan as my Bible study project moved forward—but he sure wasn’t holding any punches!

Surveying the debris before me, I let myself remember all the other storms God had brought me through. Because of His promise to never leave me or forsake me (Joshua 1:5), I knew I could trust Him to help me overcome this mess and anything else the enemy might hurl my way.

I already had a track record of God’s faithful provision and love to fall back on. Like Job in chapter 42, verse 5, I could declare to God, “my ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you” (NIV). I had seen Him in action. Every storm He had ever brought me through had allowed me to witness His power, His love, and His faithfulness.

If not for those previous storms, I might have been frantic in the aftermath of this one. Instead, I felt a kind of holy excitement as I stood amid the current storm’s debris. We would clean this up and move forward and, with God’s help, I would have yet another testimony of God’s goodness that would allow me to bring comfort to others (2 Corinthians 1:3–4).

I am not saying that storm was pleasant. I am not saying I enjoyed the destruction around me or the work that needed to be done—of course not. But storms don’t have to be in vain.
As you face your storms, remember God’s faithfulness to bring you through past trials. You’re still standing, aren’t you? Hold fast to the Lord, keep your eyes on Him, keep praising Him, and refuse to lose hope.

It’s like Romans 8:37 says—“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (NIV). With Him, we can’t lose.

VIRGINIA DENMARK is the author of Who Will You Be in the Midst of Your Storm?, available at amazon.com. She is the director of public relations for an accredited Christian academy. She has served as head of public relations and development for her family business as well as a three-campus homeless and recovery center, where she was internationally awarded for her work.