Stormy days. We don’t always like them. Sometimes they can be inconvenient. If they occur consecutively, they can be depressing. Severe storms may even be frightening. But I think we would all agree that we can benefit from them.
Some difficulty may just antagonize us, causing frustration. A friend of ours calls annoying types of storms “the sandpaper of our lives.” Heavy, dark storms that have no end in view may give way to a sense of helplessness and despair. When life’s storms get severely threatening, we may find ourselves in fight or flight mode initially, and then we might become gripped with paralyzing fear and insecurity.
I was just watching the other day about what not to do during tornados. One thing NOT to do if you see one heading your direction is jump in the car and try to outrun it. Doing so usually doesn’t end favorably.
In our personal lives, we tend to do just that, don’t we? We try to escape adversity. We may even beg God to bail us out, finding ourselves disheartened if He doesn’t answer our prayers the way that we think He ought to.
But since God knows the big picture, He is more concerned about our long term benefit than our current state of comfort levels.
We will never forget the beauty amongst the devastation of that perfect, fair day following the infamous tornado outbreak of April 2011.
None of us recalled ever seeing the sky such a pure, intense shade of blue before.
My daughter took this photo with her inexpensive point and shoot camera as she recorded some of our twister destruction. The picture is in it’s “as is,” unaltered state, which gives you an idea of how deeply blue the sky was that day.
I took these, but also without filters and no adjustments were made. I don’t know how it works, but it seems like the storms did more than strip away our trees. My theory is that it cleared out any haze and what didn’t belong in our atmosphere, allowing us to see the sky in a purer state than what we normally see.
Just as all of God’s creation benefits from rain, likewise we can benefit from storms in our lives. Subsequently, other people will too, if we allow adversity to deepen our relationship with the Lord.
Stormy periods aren’t always in our control. But our response is our choice. Will we allow ourselves to be refined, or will we let resentfulness and rebellion creep in? Will we let the Lord clear out the haze, or will hostility cloud our thoughts and actions?
With each passing storm, it is my hope that each of us will endeavor to gain ground towards being as intensely pure as that blue sky was here on April 28, 2011.