18 March 2014

Facing Storms

I'm programmed to believe that every time I see a cloudy sky, I will open the door to cold weather.  If you're from the northwest like I am, you understand.  But here in south Texas?  I always get a shock when I step out on a blustery looking day, bundled up and expecting a cold blast...only to find out it's eighty degrees.

Why again do they sell coats here?

Recently, though, when I looked out on the palms on my horizon, they were backed by dark, fast-moving clouds.  I love a good storm, so I grabbed the camera to see what I could capture and stepped outside for once forgetting my coat only to find that this time, the wind actually was chilly. 

The dark clouds were a disappointingly narrow strip, moving quickly overhead and to the south within about five minutes.  I guess sometimes even menacing clouds move on fast.  The wind blew hard, but we didn't even get any rain.

But then a week or two ago, we had quite a rain storm, in the middle of the night, with rain pounding hard enough to wake me up.  My husband slept soundly through the whole thing, while I lay awake planning how to protect the piano from a possible flood coming through the sliding glass door.  

I think we got more rain in those forty-five minutes than I've ever seen fall in so short a time.  I checked outside several times, trying to see how much water was in the lawn.  It was a lot.  I wondered how long and hard it would have to rain for the water to rise up above the cement patio, and then the next inch or two to the bottom of the door.

I've seen water coming in under a sliding glass door before.  I was in Australia, and my traveling companions and I waded through a couple of inches of water to the front desk of our hostel to check in to our rooms for the night.  It was a nice thing to have a room on the upper floor, but in retrospect, they probably should have given that room to our adult sponsors.  We teenagers would have though it a great adventure to have a flooded room (maybe?) whereas I don't believe the adults thought it so grand.

So I thought of all those blankets hanging in the closet that we don't use much here in south Texas, and thought I would try to soak up the first floods of waters mopped up with those, if it should come to that.

It didn't.

My husband had a good night's rest while I worked it all out in my head, and looked out the sliding door wondering where on earth all that water was going.  And I prayed for the little seedlings we had planted in the garden a few days before.  I thought for sure I'd find them all dead or washed away the next morning.

I didn't.

They were small and new and tiny and delicate, but somehow they all stayed rooted in their places all through that terribly long hard rain storm, even though the surfaces of all the flower beds were quite different in the morning than they had been the night before.

Life's like that.  When the storm starts, we have no idea how long or how hard it will be.  We wonder how we'll mop up all the water if it comes in where it doesn't belong, or we wonder if we'll survive the force of the rain, or we wonder if we'll really be able to handle all the cold, or the heat, or the hardness of it all.

And then we just do, and the sun comes out, and somehow our little roots are still in the ground under us.  Because Jesus still knows how to carry us through, whether he calms the waves or invites us to walk out in their full fury, hand in hand with him, eyes of faith turned toward the face of him who wore the crown of thorns for us.


  1. This is beautiful!! And very comforting because you know I'm going through a storm that seems it will never end right now.

    I know deep inside that all will be well, but it's hard not to know WHAT will happen. I don't need to know but it's human nature to want to, right?


  2. "Why again do they sell coats here?"

    Because, occasionally, it will be seventy degrees. :-)

  3. I somehow missed reading a few of you posts while I was gone. But maybe that was a good thing. I think I needed to read about "Facing Storms" tonight. There is no need to spend extra energy planning for something that just may not happen. My daughter learned on this vacation, while driving long roads with her permit, that it doesn't help to shift down at the bottom of the hill, even if you might need to close to the top. Just keep driving, and shift only when needed. That's what I need to do tonight.


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