Learning the unforced rhythms of grace


When Storm Clouds Gather...

One summer evening, when our kids were 9 and 11 years old, we went to an outdoor amusement park. We stayed late into the evening as the summer sun was just as relaxed as we were. But, as we walked to our car, we noticed the sky turning a dark green colour. We assured our kids that it was just a good old Edmonton storm and that it would be fine. 

The wind increased and the rain hammered down on our car roof. The windshield wipers could barely clear away enough water to see and we drove slowly but with an urgency to get home. Our kids were nervous and when my husband looked in the rear view mirror, the sky was very dark. We looked at each other knowingly and reassured the kids that although it looks really bad, it wasn't a tornado and we would be fine.

By the time we reached our house, the kids were pretty anxious to get inside and the wind had blown out the screen windows from our front living room. We ran from our car to the dark house, windows wide open to the street and the thunder and lightening crackling above our heads.  

It took a few hours for the storm to settle. Meanwhile, we fixed the windows and closed them tight. We lit candles and turned lights on. Randy did a walk through of the house to make sure no one had entered through our open windows. We made popcorn, gathered blankets on the couch and watched a movie while the storm settled down.

Randy and I felt the intensity of the storm but we also had experienced many more storms than our kids had and knew that although this was intense, it was not a tornado and it would not harm us. They looked to us to know whether this was real danger and we assured them it was okay.

We have a few friends who are in the middle of their own storms right now. It is intense and overwhelming. The thunder is loud and the wind gusts from all sides catching them off guard with something new each day. However, they are not destroyed. They are exhausted and weary and longing for sunshine and calm skies...but they are also trusting Jesus.

Luke 8:23-25 tells the story of Jesus and his disciples being in a fishing boat together in a storm. There was real danger and when it seemed like the boat was about to capsize, they went down to the lower deck of the boat where Jesus was napping and told him, "We're going to die!" Jesus came up, told the weather to calm down and it did. Then Jesus looked at them and said, "Why can't you trust me?" The disciples, I imagine, just stared at him with stunned faces, as I probably would have done too.

Jesus doesn't want us to tell him what the outcome is, he wants us to ask for the Jesus-outcome. 

If you and I are honest today, what do we want to run down to the bottom of the boat and yell to Jesus? "Jesus, Jesus....this terrible thing is happening and here's what I think will happen!!!" 

If you and I exercised our faith today, however little it seems...what else might we say to Jesus?

"Jesus, I need you. I know you can do anything. I know you are powerful and nothing can stand in your way. But this thing is big and overwhelming and I can't see past it. Do something! Please!! Surprise me with your goodness, your power and your love! Transform this into something beautiful and live-giving and hopeful! I believe you can!"

Then, maybe, we can gather blankets, light candles, make popcorn and rest while the storm settles down. We don't have to watch out the window...constantly check the weather...we can turn our attention to other things while God handles the storm.