Sometimes we see a storm advancing.
And sometimes we don’t until it’s too late.
I sometimes wonder if being prepared always trumps being taken by surprise.
I’m sitting outside, the sun just up, a tea beside my laptop, the whole street quiet.
Summer mornings are lovely before 7 am. The light banking in across the housetops is inspiring. If I weren’t paying attention, I’d say it’s going to be the most wonderful day.
And whose to say it still won’t be.
But from my comfy chair, I begin to notice something.
The beautiful light of dawn is quickly being sucked up by shadow, and I watch as cranky looking clouds converge across the sky to my left.
I kind of frown because it may be that the weather man got it right after all but so far the storm is tame, a hint of rain on the air, hardly reason to panic.
But the lady three houses to my right might want to panic. She just put laundry out to dry. But I digress.
It’s still a ways off yet, and I can gage how much time I have in my favorite spot in the yard, and watch from my perch its lazy advance.
But it is advancing and no one can stop it, only get on top of it and be prepared. Which sounds reasonable and smart.
But sometimes in the watching for storms, we forget to keep living.But sometimes in the watching for storms, we forget to keep living. Click To Tweet
My chronic depression can do that to my day. Roll in like a storm over my moods, my brain. And in an effort to avoid the crashing and the downpour surely to result, I try to get on top of it with some coping tools and prayer and a host of other things that will buffer the storm. I hunker down and use all my time waiting to ride it out and assess the damage from the deluge.
Maybe you have something too, something that advances into your plans, into your life, into your health, and in an effort to keep watch for storms rolling in, to batten down the hatches, and anticipate, you anticipate yourself right out of the good moment that still waits to be lived.
I’ve done this. I’ll be real about this. I’ve forgotten that sometimes there’s good things in the storms, and spent some of my past tangled up in a gazillion things I thought would be worth securing before the storm hit again. And wasted time I could have been really living.
There’s a line between being proactive about staying safe and sheltered and healthy, and becoming obsessed with the next storm on the horizon.
And after some years navigating the storms of my mood disorder, and other life storms as well, I can say this:
Sometimes getting soaked is worth it.
I remember visiting a friend who lives close to the Atlantic ocean. The scenery was incredible everywhere you turned. It wasn’t long after I landed that I was itching to explore her small community with its tiny harbour and huge skies with my camera.
I remember her telling me to at least bring a jacket. There were clouds on the horizon that felt like a little rain. I was sure they were way off, no worries. Her warning?
“Down here in this neck of the woods, a good storm can come up out of nowhere.”
I stopped. She seemed serious. And I offered to wait. But she said something I took into my heart.
“Heck no, if we did that we’d never see anything or go anywhere around here. One small downpour doesn’t stop us!”
Well, she wasn’t kidding. One minute the rain clouds looked miles off, the next we were laughing in the sudden onslaught in our feeble jackets, rain dripping off our noses and soaking our shoes.
But we shrugged it off, kept our eyes out for close shelter if it really stormed at any point and kept going. And at one point stood on a hilltop and watched the same storm move out over the water and drank in how fresh and beautiful it was, soaked and dark as it was.
I have photos from that day I’d never have gotten otherwise, scenes wild and turbulent and glistening. And memories of laughing with abandon in the face of the approaching storm and exploring with the intent for adventure, and good hearty conversation.
Getting soaked was so worth it.
I guess my point is this. I’ve spent much of my life watching a different kind of storm roll in and out, the unsettled weather of the Dysthymic variety, often complicated, often ready to drown out any happy to be had, waves getting ready to crash against my moods and functioning abilities, and I’ve learned something.
I don’t have to let it rob me of the adventure.
I don’t have to hide at every threat.
I don’t have to live on high alert.
I just have to know that there are good things to be had even in the storms, and not to be so busy watching for the next one that I forget to thrive in the right now.
So often in the middle of the life storms, we cry and ask and plead, “Lord, the downpour, the waves, the storm and darkness is too much! I need at least one good thing in the midst of this. One thing. Something that reminds me this won’t last forever!”
And we forget that He is that one good thing in the middle of the raging storms about to roll in.And we forget that He is that one good thing in the middle of the raging storms about to roll in. Click To Tweet
And scripture means it when it says that He is unshakeable, immoveable, uncontainable. In the middle of our difficulties, He’s our one sure thing. I find myself asking my own quaking heart if all I had left in any situation, in any storm, was Almighty, was Yahweh, was I Am that I Am, wouldn’t that one truth be more than enough?
When it comes down to it, each time my quaking heart gives a resounding , “yes!”
My favorite verse in the whole book of Deuteronomy is found in chapter 31, verse 6. I keep it written down in multiple places around the house so that it can declare it’s truth to me at any given moment in any given storm. Maybe you need it’s holy promise today.
” Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified… for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Going with you.
He is the one good thing left when everything else blurs in the downpour.
If it’s going to pour anyway, let Him pour out on you better things.
So we can watch for storms rolling in. That’s okay.
But let’s stop allowing it to dictate how much we live, and what we believe once we’re in the middle of it.
Well, would you look at that.
The sun is back out.
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