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The Blessing of Death Inside

The rain pounded and the wind howled, and all we could do was wait through the night, wondering how the storm might affect our newly acquired property. My family recently moved to a rural farmhouse and although we aren’t stranded on a boat, the storms that have hit have been pretty intense. The morning following that first storm we ventured outside to find one of our tall and mighty double-trunked maples half-taken down by the gusts.

The storms of life come in much the same way, taking us unawares, and I find my initial response similar to that of the disciples in today’s Gospel (Mark 4:35-41): Jesus, do You care? Do You care that I feel abandoned? That I’m scared? That I feel this storm is going to wipe me out completely? Do You care?

It turned out that the part of our tree that came down had been dead and diseased, weakening the tree as a whole. The storm actually did the tree a favor by pruning it, removing that part that no longer brought life.

Habitual sins, grudges I hold, and wounds that run deep over time blacken parts of my heart. They put a chasm between me and Jesus as I choose to rely on myself. I push them to the side planning to deal with them later, hoping they might just disappear on their own. As I allow my heart to cling to those dead parts, my trust in God declines, or at best stalls.

Sometimes it takes a storm to prune away the lifeless bits, to refocus my course on Jesus, so my heart can be strengthened and bring forth life again.

Jesus not only cares about our storms, He is with us in the boat. He offers us a safe harbor to hide our hearts within in the midst of our trials and suffering. And through that storm He accompanies our hearts as we let go of the parts that have been deadened by sin. Be still. Allow Him to prune your heart and breathe new life into you.

Where are you dead inside? Take some time to journal with Scripture today. Sit with these verses and tell your story of the storm.

Sarah Ortiz is a Catholic convert, and when not folding laundry, she can be found reading, experimenting in the kitchen, or writing at her blog. You can find out more about her here.

12 Comments

  • Reply
    Cheri
    January 27, 2018 at 7:31 am

    This was beautiful. Thank you, as I fear the next step in my life, fear can paralze me. I don’t need to fear the storm, Jesus is with me. Thank you. This was just what I needed to hear today.

    • Reply
      Sarah Ortiz
      January 27, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      HI Cheri – praying for you as you offer your fear to Him. Know that with Jesus nothing is impossible! <3 Sarah

  • Reply
    Jessica
    January 27, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Last March I was diagnosed with cancer, for the third time. I too had my moments, of where are you God? I actually found myself feeling completely blocked when it came to praying. I work for our parish, and the congregation had been amazing, prayers, Cards, gifts, etc… to let me know I had an army storming the heavens and who would be there for whatever I might need. It was all very overwhelming. The Sunday before my surgery, I got up to cantor the psalm at Mass, it was psalm 23…I looked out at this sea of people and sang “The Lord is My Shepherd, there is Nothing I shall want.” and I completely lost it. I call it my God moment, where I could see that He had been there all along, I was never alone. He had placed all the right people in my path so that I could fight through this storm….it was also the moment I started thanking Him for this storm, because it opened my eyes and brought me even closer to Him. His goodness is so amazing!!

    • Reply
      Sarah Ortiz
      January 27, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you for sharing, Jessica – that is so beautiful. Know you are in my prayers! Sarah

    • Reply
      Molly
      January 29, 2018 at 8:49 am

      Prayers for you, Jessica. What a beautiful spirit you have. May God bless you and continue to send an army of people to support and care for you.

    • Reply
      Luciana
      January 29, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Wow. Thank you for your amazing, vulnerable witness to God’s love for each and every one of us. Although some of the storms we face may seem impossible and simply unfair and we feel alone through them, our Lord has never abandoned us. He is a Good Father and He wants nothing more than for us to turn to Him, run into His open arms and rest in His embrace. I also find that through every storm I’m getting ready to face, He equips me with exactly who and what I need to make it through to the sunny side, nearing closer and closer to His embrace with every step. Praise God! Thank you Jessica and Sarah. I’m praying for your healing and support!

  • Reply
    Diana
    January 27, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Thank you Sarah for this wonderful blog. It simply lifted my spirit. God bless you.

    • Reply
      Sarah Ortiz
      January 27, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      You are welcome. Thank YOU for being a part of our sisterhood. <3 Sarah

  • Reply
    Aubrey
    January 27, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Beautifully stated. I truly needed this devotional today. It really spoke to me, deeply. Thank you for that!

    • Reply
      Sarah Ortiz
      January 27, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      I’m so glad, Aubrey. Thank YOU for being here and being you. Praying for you! <3 Sarah

  • Reply
    Lisa
    January 28, 2018 at 12:27 am

    I needed to read this today. It spoke deeply to my heart! Thank you.

  • Reply
    My Storm – Theresa Riel
    February 6, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    […] morning I came across this devotion entitled “The Blessing of Death Inside” from one of my recent favorite online […]

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