March 20, 2021

Joy Is Tried by Storm

Gideon answered him, “But sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?”
Judges 6:13
Miriam Therese Winter with a guitar
Miriam Therese Winter is a Roman Catholic nun who entered an order called the Medical Mission Sisters at a young age. She very badly wanted to become a physician. But her community decided instead that she should train as a musician who would guide them during a time of liturgical change. She was devastated by this decision. As she dealt with what life as a medical missionary with no medical training might look like, she wrote a song which has become very well known among Christians of many denominations. "Joy Is Like the Rain was sung into being at the lowest point in my existence," she says, and one stanza of it in particular speaks to the presence of God in difficult times:

I saw Christ in wind and thunder,
joy is tried by storm;
Christ asleep within my boat,
whipped by wind, yet still afloat. 
Joy is tried by storm.

Sometimes it may seem that God doesn't care that we are sad or in trouble. But I think God understands when we ask Why? And we need look no further than the cross to realize that God is with us, not just through joy, but also in pain; not only in life, but even and in death. In the best of times and in the worst of times, we can trust in the God shown to us in Jesus Christ.

Jesus was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
 Mark 4:38
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
O God, you are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should quake, and the mountains shake in the heart of the sea. For there is a gentle river whose currents bring joy to the people in whom your Spirit dwells. You are with us; and because you are in our midst, we shall never be moved—you will help us ere the morning dawns. 
 based on Psalm 46:1-2, 4-5
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.


Book Tip: I highly recommend Miriam Therese Winter's The Singer and the Song: An Autobiography of the Spirit as your next read... or listen. (Its audiobook version is read by singer Janice Ian, who also sings some of Winter's songs as she narrates.)
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