Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Storm Watching

Photo by Taylor Leopold | Unsplash

There’s a storm coming.  I can feel it in every one of these pre-arthritic bones.  Wind is stirring up dust, whirling leaves around, moving my numb heart to action.  I feel like I’m in that moment before the skies open, the calm before the storm where the sky is eerily yellow and most living things other than we storm-watchers have taken retreat.  For much of my life, especially my immediate past, I've been just that—a storm-watcher.  Is it crazy to say I don’t want to watch anymore, that I long to be in the eye of the storm?  Ridiculous, right?  I've done my share of watching, even storm chasing, but rarely have I longed to be in the eye of the storm.

While storm-watching, I obsessively watch the radar to ensure the storm is going around me, and I breathe a sigh of relief when I see mass destruction stays away.  I don't mind some occasional thunder, wind, and rain, but those storms that up heave lives?  Yeah, those are ok to go on all around me and keep missing my safe haven.  

So why suddenly long for the eye of the storm, for upheaval?  Because I've found that while storm-watching, I've become a passive observer of storm destruction.  While breathing sighs of relief, I've gotten caught up in beautifying my life, caring about frivolous details like flowers and curtains and paint colors.  See, when your haven is safe, you start to care more about protecting it than it protecting you.  And so the storm weathers on around me, lives are being changed in the midst of it, people are clinging to God because He's their only haven.  

On the fringes of the storm, Satan keeps me a passive observer, finding comfort in lovely things.  On the fringes of the storm, I worry about others' opinions, care how I appear to others.  On the fringes of the storm, I believe the lies that if my life is one of comfort and ease that somehow God is showing me favor.  On the fringes of the storm, I believe the lies that material blessings are somehow the result of my obedience.

But in the eye of the storm, where lovely things are decimated, the gales drown out others' voices, comfort and ease are stripped, material blessings vanished, the only remaining hope is God Himself.  And he is the beginning and end, the one who holds and directs the four winds, the author and perfecter of our faith, the one who shows mercy to whom he shows mercy, compassion to whom he shows compassion.  And in the eye we find him.     

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