The tornadic storm blew through. It was supposed to be the most intense of the season thus far, with our city poised right in the center of the worst of it. We were ready for it. All outdoor accoutrements had been tacked down, and my beloved suburban was cozily sheltered in our garage. The closet was readied, and the kids were alerted and prepped. We were completely prepared.
I wish the same could be said for the storms of life, most of which have caught me completely off guard. I have found myself in the ER with one child, on the bedroom floor at midnight with another child, or (my worst parenting moment) at the police station reporting on an event on behalf of yet another one of my children. I have also been curled up by myself in a heap on my own bedroom floor, door locked, internally raging against the storms erupting all around me. I have blindly prayed for the clarity of God’s will to be made known and the clouds of anger and despair to clear. I have had to lean heavily on supernatural mercy and strength.
He always comes through, of course. Why do I continue to doubt? Why do I, when encountering a situation that seems so utterly hopeless, give in to fear and frenzy? Time and again, my pleas are heard, differences are reconciled, and peace reigns. This doesn’t always happen overnight. Some storms linger, their effect leaving scars that must be healed. And so we gain wisdom and insight, and oftentimes, humility. We cannot control these storms, nor their outcome, but we are left with an altered landscape, bought with our tears and struggles, that makes us cling ever closer to Christ.
The morning after the intense storm, I woke to clear blue skies—a gorgeous morning with no humidity and a glorious breeze. In light of the previous day’s storms, the landscape was a crisp green, jagged with fallen branches and scattered leaves. The harshness was not at all forgotten, but instead, highlighted the beauty that remained.
As I write this, a gentle rain is falling outside. There is no severe weather threat here. Ours is just the nourishment of a parched land. Elsewhere, the storm rages, and there is need for prayers. We know because we have been there. We pray in solidarity and reach out in love and mercy. We remember our own storms, and we seek to comfort and heal others as they weather theirs.
We need these storms of life, of nature, to truly appreciate what we are privileged to retain. They serve as a constant reminder to us of how much we are loved and cherished, and how God takes care of us. All is gift. All is mercy and infinite love.
I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears (Psalm 34:4).