Our final week of pause saw rain every day.
Downpours greeted us with dark clouds scudding across the sky like angry messengers. Winds blew the chimes on the porch into a wild symphony of sound and movement.
It made me feel good that it’s been raining back home as well, where the ground in central Florida is super soaked. This rain hasn’t felt as daunting.
Maybe because the temperatures aren’t in the 90’s with increasing humidity like they are at home.
We’ve not gone many places; driving the switchbacks in the rain, when those more adept at this place and climate are barreling around curves with a speed that causes concern isn’t relaxing. There’s nowhere to go but down if you get off the road.
Many afternoons and evenings we sat on the porch together, watching the rain, covered in blankets because the wind felt cold. The thunder was magnificent, like the timpani from a massive orchestra filling the space with deep beats and percussion. Darkness would come early; the sun chose to hide instead of fighting against the roiling clouds.
Even in the calmest of times, when I’m ready for a pause from the loud and chaotic sounds and activities of life, storms will come.
Not bidden. Not anticipated. Often not appreciated.
Many storms in life are mere inconveniences. They dismantle plans for outdoor activities, especially those prepared way in advance. (Think weddings). They limit the spontaneity of possible things to do. They’re messy, particularly when small ones want to play in the mud.
Storms are also destructive. I live in an area where we have hurricane season June 1 through November 30. We’ve experienced the devastation of hurricanes, even though we live in the central part of the state. Wild winds, lashing rain, they knock down trees and power lines, and ruin roofs.
We’ve all experienced storms that have hurt or hampered our lives.
Most of those aren’t external. It’s the storms within, caused by outside forces, that often are our undoing.
We’re living in a time where anxiety, depression, and despair are flourishing, not just in adults, but in children. Where what we’re familiar with has been repurposed to suit a pandemic or divisiveness or disruption that we as individuals can’t control. We’re not free to sit on a porch and watch it happen. We’re too often pulled into the maelstrom and have to deal with the debris flying around us.
People are constantly coming up with methods to cope with such things. Tapping, meditating, controlled breathing, and a host of other things that take our minds off the storms.
They don’t make the storms go away. We stop whatever we’re doing, and they’re still there.
Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble. Storms will happen; they’re part of this life. We can blame our internal storms on others; we can bemoan the external storms for all the hassles they bring.
There will be trouble. No matter what.
He also said to take courage. He has overcome the world. He is greater than the storms, the uncontrollable forces that hurt all of us.
If we trust Him.
I can’t make the storms stop, but I can find hope to ride them out.