In what many of us would consider to be a cruel and barbaric experiment, a scientist named Curt Richter did a series of experiments in the 50’s that revealed a powerful truth that changes everything. The experiment involved putting a bunch of rats in a high-sided bucket of circulating water and timing how long it took the rats to stop swimming, give up, and drown. In his first experiment, the average rat was only able to swim for 15 minutes before quitting and drowning.
In his second experiment, Richter tried something different. He placed the rats in the bucket of swirling water then after about 15 minutes, when they started to give up and drown, he would pick the rats out of the water, dry them off, and let them rest for a few minutes. And once they were rested he placed them back in the bucket of swirling water. This time the rats were able to swim for an average of 60 hours before giving up and drowning. The rats who thought they would be rescued again swam 240 times longer than the rats in his first experiment.
Richter’s cruel scientific experiment revealed a powerful truth: When there is hope, there is a reason to continue the fight to survive. (Adapted from http://www.isaiahhankel.com/a-low-versus-high-quality-purpose-in-life. Accessed 15 Jan 2015)
Everyone faces storms in life. They roll in with different intensity and during different seasons in life. Some of the storms are predictable like the death of an aging parent. Other storms just come up totally unexpected such as a tragic accident or life changing medical diagnosis. The reality is that you will face storms, and some of them are going to rock your world in ways that you cannot even comprehend.
One cannot pray enough, do devotions enough, or be good enough, to develop immunity to storms and the suffering they may bring. Everyone faces storms, period. Just because God is with you, it doesn’t mean that you won’t suffer or have any difficulty. Jesus never promises calm waters. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Life is loaded with storms. Some of them we create ourselves, others roll in because of other people, but you need to know that God can use your storms for His glory. People are not rats in a grand experiment. We are God’s creation and He loves us. This is what saturates Jesus words throughout the New Testament. The apostle Paul wrote: “13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). I have this verse inked on my arm to remind me of this truth.
There is hope and His name is Jesus. I want to encourage you to trust Him right now no matter what is going on. Read the Bible, start by reading Psalm 23 then read the Gospel of John or Philippians. Let God comfort you with His word and receive the peace it brings. Attend church and connect with others so they can support you and you will know that you are not alone. Seek Him even if you feel like running away. Call on His name when you want to scream in anger or frustration because of what is happening. God is bigger than your storm and although He might not protect you from it, He will be with you in it. That’s His promise.