Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Metephor for Life

The Chicago area has had a very cool spring and start to summer. As a result the usual thunderstorms and tornado warningss have been all but nonexistent. We've had plenty of rain. Just no bad storms. As much as I've joined the chorus of asking "Where's summer?" I must admit the absence of thunderstorms has been delightful for me.

For as long as I can remember I've hated storms. As much as some people love to stand at the window and watch angry black clouds full of lightning coming toward them, I would rather be anyplace else. Years ago I went to Canada with my cousins and aunt. At a hotel in Quebec we had a lovely room facing a large lake. The afternoon we arrived, huge menacing clouds started gathering across the lake. Everyone became excited, exclaiming what a wonderful view we'd have for watching the storm as it approached. Everyone but me.

When the thing finally hit, the winds tore at the roof overhead. Outside, unseen things crashed about while rain pounded the window. I took to the floor and tried to crawl under the bed, but the box spring was too low. So I just huddled there, eyes squeezed shut. When everything calmed down, I opened my eyes to see my 11-year-old cousin crouched next to me. I figured it must have been bad if she was there too.

When we ventured outside, we found trees down everywhere and breathed sighs of relief that our camper was intact. And I felt vindicated for my fear. It was truly a dangerous storm. Later, my cousins teased me for trying to crawl under the bed. I defended saying, "But Terri was there too." Then the truth came out. "But, Pam, I was only doing that so you would be comforted. I wasn't scared."

It was a good laugh and we all still laugh about it today. Terri is still the same sweet caring person she was back then. But, I learned last night that I'm different.

Yesterday we had a number of really bad storms plow through our area, starting at 3 a.m. True to form, I did check the radar to see what we were in for, but my heart didn't race, and I didn't start praying a loop of prayers, saying "Please God help us." I prayed for protection then calmly waited until the storm passed by. Last night another line of storms roared through. Ordinarily I would be checking the radar, praying like crazy, and deciding if I should sit in the bathroom until it was over. But I didn't. I spent the time messing with my new breadmaker, trying to get the right combo of ingredients. I figured if we lost power so what. When the thing finally passed by, I sat here amazed at my calmness. Then I realized the day had been a metaphor of my life in recent months.

After a rather peaceful time of little stress, 2009 started out pretty stormy. I'd begun the year on my knees, turning every part of my life over to God. It wasn't but a short time later that every part that I'd turned over to Him began going through turmoil. I can't go into all the storms I've weathered since then, but some have been pretty difficult. Through each one God has proven Himself true. He is always with me, sustaining, nurturing, and sometimes carrying me. When Jesus came walking across the water toward his disciples in the boat, they became fearful. Scared out of their wits. Jesus said to them "Take courage. It is I. Don't be afraid." That's been a phrase I've hung on to through each storm in my life. Even the physical storms like yesterday's.

Jesus came to give peace. Not always peace without, but peace within.

He is so good.

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