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March 1 - Storms
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, seated on a throne... Isaiah 6:1
This past weekend I drove to my father's house. On the way, I went through an incredibly fierce storm. The wind gusts were so violent that the pouring rain was forced horizontally, not falling vertically. At one point, I was driving totally blind. I could not see the road, nor the front of my car, nor what was on either side. It was like being caught in a washing machine! I prayed, kept a firm grip on the wheel, prayed some more, stayed focused on what I could see in front of me (which was not much), and prayed some more. Then the storm eased, and although the rain kept pelting the car, the wind was not as severe. My windshield wipers that had been trying furiously yet futilely to do their job, became effective. Finally, I was through the storm, and climbing the familiar mountain road that leads to home. My father was right there to welcome me with a long, loving embrace. I was safe at last.
I reflected on that storm when I saw the news this morning: a student apparently opening fire at Chardon High School in Ohio, killing three other students and wounding two more; continued rioting in Afghanistan; the bloody massacre of civilians in Syria; threats against Israel by a nuclear-focused Iran; the stunning fireball that exploded on the Daytona 500 speedway as a car slammed into a fuel truck...and the list goes on. And I was reminded once again that as we journey to Our Father's House, from time to time we are going to encounter storms. Not just storms in the world, but storms in our lives. They can hit suddenly, without warning, and be very fierce in nature. Storms of ...
...death, disease, divorce,
...pain, pressure, poverty,
...bankruptcy, betrayal, blame...
Storms in ...
...our family, faith, friendships,
...our marriage, ministry, memories
...our church, career, classroom.
Regardless of what the storms are, or where they erupt, or how long they last, they are not pleasant nor easy to handle. They can strike paralyzing, panicky fear in our hearts. Which is why, when the storms come, it's important for you and I, not to look back or around or ahead, but to look up! We need to pray for God to give us a fresh vision of Jesus, seated on the throne, in control of everything that's happening. Ask Him for His peace in the midst of the storm, His power to make it through, and His perseverance as we remain focused and faithful until we make it through. One day the storms of life will be over. We will come to the end of life's journey, and we will enter into our Heavenly Home where Our Father will welcome us with a long, loving embrace. And we will be safe. Forever.