Love Billie Holiday. I don’t, however, love stormy weather. When I was a kid my Grandfather was, not fearful exactly, but strongly aware of severe weather. He always had a working weather radio and paid special attention to every watch and warning. He told me bad weather stories often, and though I miss him, I don’t miss the weather stories. He passed on his watchfulness to me and to this day, I don’t sleep during storms.
You ever have stormy weather? Not just the kind with rain and thunderstorms, but the emotional, mental, spiritual explosions that start spinning in your head and heart and threaten to suck the very life out of you? Sometimes they are the result of real horrible events that wreck us and send us into survival mode. Sometimes they are the results of weakness in our own life that we haven’t worked through just yet and suddenly, boom goes the thunder and we are exposed in a rage of hail and wind. Sometimes it seems like nothing at all, into every life a little rain must fall, you know? Rain falling on the righteous and the unrighteous just like the bible says, but for whatever reason. The atmosphere is just right, this emotion and that circumstance flow together like two opposite temperature air masses and your little bit of rain becomes an outbreak of tornadoes! Sometimes, just like with physical storms, you can see them coming for miles and have time to seek shelter. But sometimes, just like physical storms, you’re just minding your own business and WHAM! It hits.
Storms are part of life, o best beloved. There is nothing you can do to prevent them, it’s how you handle them that makes the difference, as far as my own experience tells. Here’s my storm survival kit:
Great friends-Not everyone can help you with every storm, be aware of this as a fact, but you are going to need a couple of close, very close friends to spill your guts to. They need to be non-judgemental and encouraging and sometimes forgiving. And you have to trust them with your heart.
Contemplation-I know, most Christians don’t go there. But they should. Time spent in silence is a blessing. Centering is a blessing. Finding the eye of your storm in you is an amazingly beautiful moment.
Christ-Now I get that not everyone will agree with this one. But our brokenness and storminess demand a loving God. If the reality of God is that He is a strict, legalistic God who strains us through the net of the law to sort the wheat from the chaff, we would be done. God would remove His hand from us at the first sign of stupidity. That’s about 16 minutes on average for this writer!! A God who doesn’t love is not a boon to us, He would be our total annihilation! But Jesus, claimed to be God, and then loved us in a way no one had seen before. He showed us that God is love and opened a channel to Him as our Daddy (Abba) that all Hell, including our sin, could never close.
One more thing for my Texas readers, storms bring rain. Blessing follows their path.