Two days of downpours and unsettled weather came to a rather momentous conclusion Tuesday evening when a severe thunderstorm blasted across the island. The high winds tossed about tree limbs, making a general mess of the place, and knocking out power for more than ten hours. Yet, on Wednesday we awoke to blue skies and cool fall temperatures (and restored power). As I walked in my back yard, I glanced up and saw a bald eagle making lazy circles not too far overhead. The weather had changed from stormy to peaceful, and God’s creatures were enjoying the transformation.
Life often resembles this example, as we will emerge from some sort of storm only to find a peace and beauty that seemed unimaginable just a few hours before. The storms that we encounter bring about fear, pain, uncertainty, and chaos. In the aftermath, however, we find calm, restoration, and clarity. Part of that stems from sheer relief that the storm is over, but another part is how storms have a way of stripping away those insignificant things that we have placed great value on and restoring a proper view of the world.
We allow small things like electronic devices, hobbies or busy work to divert our attention away from family and friends that God has placed in our lives. Sometimes a storm is just the sort of powerful event that we need to restore a proper perspective, as we contemplate the fragility of life and how we really want to spend the moments of our lives. Let’s face it – sometimes we need more than subtle hints. There are times when we need to be shaken, so that we will finally drop the distractions and embrace the blessings that God has poured out on us.
Jesus told his followers repeatedly that he was the messiah, but they didn’t truly believe it. When his lifeless body was removed from the cross and he was placed in the tomb, his followers were shaken to the core, filled with doubt, and fearful that they would be executed next. Only when Jesus rose from the grave and appeared before them did the disciples see clearly who God had put before them. They had been in the presence of the Lamb of God all those years, but it took the storm of the cross and the subsequent resurrection to firmly set their convictions in stone.
Storms are an inevitable part of life, and there will be times of extreme turmoil and distress. Yet when a storm blasts away at the distractions and falsehoods in your life, take advantage of the moment and refocus on what truly matters. For as the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes.” Even in a storm, God is working for your good.
Peace and blessings – Pastor Aaron