“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” Proverbs 10:25 (NIV)
Living in Louisiana, I have witnessed firsthand, more times than I can count, what it is to be in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm. Being so close to the Gulf of Mexico, storms can crop up at any time of year. What was predicted to be small, miniscule rain showers can suddenly turn into deadly torrents with wind gusts that can knock down 100-year-old oak trees rooted into the depths of the earth! As I type this now, we are experiencing this type of storm with lightning, thunder, wind gusts and a torrential downpour. In fact, Mia just rounded the corner from the carport to the back porch where I’m sitting, soaking wet!
“Where have you been?!” I shrieked with sudden worry, thinking that she had walked in this storm from one of her cousins’ houses. She jumped as I scared her, too! (She wasn’t expecting me to be sitting outside during this storm.)
“I was wiping down the golf cart under the carport, and I just walked straight around here. It’s raining so hard, Mom!”
I guess living in a place where storms are frequent, even though sometimes dangerous, I enjoy watching, feeling the wind and mist and hearing the sound of the rain. Of course, I’m under the protection of my back porch, which has three solid walls and a secure roof. I feel safe. On the other hand, at the same time, my 19-year-old son, Cole, was driving home from Mississippi in the rain. If you’re a parent, you understand the battle I’ve had the past few minutes between wanting to call him to make sure he’s okay and not wanting to call him for fear of distracting him while he’s driving. Right? I ended up calling! He was only 20 minutes away and was fine, coming from the clear side of the storm.
We’ve all seen the news reports showing the aftermath of terrible storms. The footage of people’s homes completely destroyed. Possessions strewn down streets and over lawns. Cars demolished and even overturned. Yet, the human spirit perseveres. They are heartbroken, saddened, weary. But they find the inner strength to get back up and rebuild.
Why does the Bible use the analogy of a storm so many times? I believe it is because it is something that we have no control over. Storms are scary! We don’t know when it’s coming, and we don’t know when it will end. We just have to shelter in place, pray and trust that God will see us through it. We have to literally wait it out. Not all storms end without human tragedy. The loss of life is the ultimate heartbreak.
Storms can leave as quickly as they came. It seems almost surreal the day after a storm when the sun is shining so brightly and the sky is so clear. Did yesterday really happen? Yes, it did. When a big storm is predicted and approaching, weathercasters tell us to be prepared, take caution, stay home, etc. It’s when we’re not prepared that the storms of this life will surprise us and rip us from our foundation. The title scripture uses the storm analogy to say that the righteous will be able to endure. The righteous will stand firm in their faith in the Savior. The righteous understand that the calamities of this earthly life are just temporary, no matter how terrible they are. We understand that this will pass. And when that final day comes, it, too, will sneak up on us like a storm in the night.
Mark 13:32-33 says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.”
Nature’s storms come in many different forms: rain, wind, ice and even dust (if you live in West Texas, you know what I mean.) Life’s storms also come in many different forms: sickness, financial failure, job loss, death of a loved one and even a terrible thunderstorm.
Are you prepared? If you are counted as righteous, you are. Take heart! When the sun shows its face the next day, so will the Son.
Have a sunny week!