Storms have been a very prominent feature in my life lately. Named storms that have the same names as family members, an afternoon storm that knocked the power out at work last week and then there was today’s storm. Power outage again and a drive home that was unusually suspenseful. The power outage affected the first traffic light, but there was no traffic, score! Pouring rain that increased my windshield wipers from occasional, to constant, to super fast in a matter of moments. Water on the roadway in the bonus construction zone that included the super fast wipers and a pounding dose of hail. More traffic lights on the blink, plus another bonus, the flashing lights of our police force headed somewhere fast. Finally got into a drizzle, yet I could still see the storm advancing on me in my rear view mirror. Yikes, what’s that up ahead in the clouds? What looked like a tornado in the drizzle and grayness of the heavy cloud cover turned out to be a crane. Phew! Only to hear a little bit later that a tornado had struck a few miles away and the damage was severe. No loss of live that I know of, thank the Lord, but there is definitely a path of destruction in the wake of this storm.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT
“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.”
As I was driving, in that small section where I was outrunning the storm, I was struck by the similarities of that moment and the recent months in all of our daily lives. Looking in that rear view mirror, I could see the heavy weight of the grayness of the storm coming closer and closer, yet I was just out of it’s grasp. As I looked I was struck by the comparison to the intensity of the last few months in all of our lives. Fear is a terrible thing that is chocked full of grayness. The particulars of our lives infiltrated by an unknown and invisible culprit that is playing havoc with our minds, our health and our freedoms. We are on guard, no matter which way we ‘feel’ about the circumstances or where our personal beliefs fall, we are all guarded. ‘What’s going to happen next’ is on everyone’s minds. We are all effected. The call, the teaching, the lesson we find here in these verses stands us all in good stead. Be on guard, yes, and also have courage. Be courageous and be strong, standing firmly in and on and surrounded by our faith, with the real important part in the conclusion; do EVERYTHING with LOVE, because we are all in this together. When we look up, when it feels like fear appears to be overtaking us, when the storms in life feel like the are right behind us, when a grayness overload feels like is chasing us down, we can take refuge in the Lord. We have to remind ourselves to be courageous and strong, standing firm in our faith, guarded yes, yet also full of love. Yes, there can be a path of destruction in the wake of any storm, but our God is the maker of the heavens and the earth, and He’s got this, rest assured.