I’ve just finished reading a book called Through the Storm by Dr. Dan Gerdes. The book is not one that I was familiar with, but it was only 70 pages long and thus I made it through fairly quickly. I am taking a class called pastoral care & counceling which required me to get the book and come up with 5 lesson plans from it. It wasn’t that easy to get a hold of and the seminary had to have Gerdes drop off some of the books himself just so the class would have them. While I am not sure how easy it would be for you to get a copy, this is a book that I think you should read if you have a chance.
Through the Storm is a true story about the life of the author who went through some rough storms in life when him and his wife lost a child. The first chapter begins with the loss of their little boy (Ryan) and then the rest of the book deals with how they felt, what they did, and how God lead them through it all. I didn’t realize what this book was about until I read the first chapter and then when I noticed that the book came with a bookmark that was dedicated to Ryan with his picture on it, my heart was broken and I have to admit I took some time to cry for this family. The power of this book comes not in the story of loss, but in the suprizing story of gain. God was there for Dr. Gerdes and his wife, he lead them through this storm in their life and God used it to bring them closer to Him as they relied on Him fully.
“There are three kinds of people: Those who are in the middle of a storm, those who are emerging from a storm, and those who will soon be in one.”
The truth is, everyone will experience storms in their life. Times of great loss and pain will come to us all and there is no one that is immune to this. If anything, how God worked in the life of this family is a great encouragment to all of us. They experienced the same questions, doubts, pain and sorrow that all of us will experience when we go through struggles in life and this book is a powerful testimony of their reliance on God and evidence of Him guiding them through it all. “He transforms the darkness into morning in our lives, and others will see it and be amazed… Considering what we’ve been through, what’s not to love about God?” – Dan Gerdes
Lord thank you that you carry us through the storms of life! This book also reminds me of what I talked to our teenagers about during our youth service last Wednesday. We discussed Matthew 7:24-27:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” – Matthew 7:24-27 – ESV
There are several interesting things brought out in this passage. The first thing that I found significant is that both houses, regardless of the foundation, experienced storms that brought rain, floods, and winds that beat against them. Jesus never promised that Christians would have a “suffer free” life, he never said it would be easy. Whether your foundation is in Christ or not, you will experience the storms of life. The other thing I found to be significant in this passage is that both men listened, but only one of them took the advise to heart.
The man who hears God’s words and puts them into practice builds a strong foundation and when the storms of life come that man will be able to stand up under it, because he is rooted strongly in Christ. The Bible doesn’t say that the house wasn’t damaged, it just says it didn’t fall. We will experience pain, and hurt and we will be damaged, but in Christ we will not crumble and fall. However, the man who hears God’s words and does not put them into practice has a foundation as weak as sinking sand and when the storms of life come that man will not be able to stand up. He is not only damaged; the Bible says that he will fall and not just any fall, it will be a great fall.
A powerful message that is revealed to us in Scripture and given as evidence in the life of Dr. Gerdes and his family. Scripture always proves true when it comes to real life. Which house will you be when the storms of life come your way?