Summer rains, even during storms, are usually uneventful. They’re welcomed to cool the earth. Today a summer storm came, with lightning and thunder. Then c-r-a-c-k! Within seconds, a hole in the ceiling spilled out insulation and dry wall like vomit. Looking out the window, my husband and I spied one tree, in a stand of five pine trees, severed from its 40-foot height, lying across our roof and porch.
It happened quickly, unexpectedly. Eventful, indeed, yet only the roof and ceiling sustained damage. Yes, the mess required labor to clear the debris away, but it was accomplished in lickety-split time. Except for the piles of sawed tree parts—and plastic tarp covering the roof and the hole in the ceiling, we were back to normal rather quickly.
However, a few hours later, anxiety crept in when another storm moved in during the night with booming thunder and zipping lightning. Sleep evaded us. We wondered about the rest of the pines. Did these old trees possess enough strength to endure? This spread of land was known as The Pines back in the early 1900s. During the American Civil War, Confederate soldiers set up camp by the pines and Indians before them. These old pines might go down like dominoes. The storm persisted yet morning came with bright skies, with no further damage.
Weathering storms is common—and all humans face varied storms—from those that are weather related or the storms of life, as the reference is made to troubles that assail us. Some of those are written about in Scripture as when Jesus and His disciples encountered a sea storm.
“Late that day he said to them, ‘Let’s go across to the other side.’ They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, ‘Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?’
“Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, ‘Quiet! Settle down!’ The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: ‘Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?’” (Mark 4:35-40).
As I read that account, I thought that’s what we need to do—run out of breath—when we fill up with fear. Just blow it all away and unpuff our cheeks! Paul did that, when he suffered through beatings with rods, and stoning, as well as fending off robbers and worse (Corinthians 11:25, 26). Faith-filled Paul had gathered faith from His Master Jesus. And despite his afflictions, he served as our role model when he chose to run out of breath.
When the next stormy winds blow our way, are we prepared and ready with the lifejacket of faith to face it all? Remember Paul, remember Jesus! Gain courage. Amen!