Stormy weather

14 Comments

Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley (five minutes north of the border of Mexico) meant we had two seasons: Summer and My-Sunglasses-Melted-In-The-Car-So-Can-We-Please-Get-Back-to-Summer Summer. When temperatures dipped into the mid-60s for all of five minutes, people donned parkas and Uggs. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the non-scorching summer months. God blessed us with the rustling of palm fronds from Gulf of Mexico breezes. The occasional hurricane saturated the soil but foretold that God would kiss the air with the decadent aroma of orange blossoms and grace the trees with lemons, grapefruits, and navel oranges. After I left home to attend college and attempt adulthood, I lived in the Hill Country, Austin, and eventually settled northeast of Dallas. The further north I journeyed, the more seasons I enjoyed. I even experienced snow a couple of times! We had a saying in Texas: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute…”

In the Valley, that saying didn’t apply because temperatures vacillated between tolerable, hot, and ghost-pepper hot. But in the Dallas area, the saying made sense.

Than I moved to Oklahoma. And I am pretty sure the “Texas” saying finds its origins here, in the Sooner state.

Exhibit A:

Cerulean sky

Cerulean sky

A couple of weekends ago, God smiled on us with this picture-perfect sky. The clouds danced, regally, elegantly amidst the cerulean canvas. I grabbed my camera, snapped a few shots then went back inside.

I placed my camera back in its case, sat in my chair, picked up my book and the door opened with my hubby beckoning me outdoors to take in the magnificent sky.

“Saw it,” I said. “Even have the pictures to prove it.” (I’m an indoorsy person, so I have to take pictures to prove I’ve actually ventured outside…)

“Not that sky. The new one,” my hubby said.

New sky? Seriously?

“And bring your camera,” he said, closing the front door behind him.

Book down, camera in hand, I headed outside. Again.

Exhibit B (or what I saw…):

Something's a brewing

Something’s a brewing

Maybe three minutes had elapsed between the first and second pictures.

Three short minutes turned dancing clouds into rumbling, boiling, churning clouds. My brilliant blue sky lie buried beneath an angry black and grey bruise.

Seeing such a rapid transformation made me realize just how quickly our personal sky can change.

A car accident, a prayed-for pregnancy, cancer test results, a marriage proposal. From one minute (or second) to the next, our world is different.

The disciples experienced this in a very literal as well as metaphorical way when they were on a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. One minute, everything was blue skies and peace. The next minute, the storm rolled in and knocked around their boat and their faith.

They panicked and woke the sleeping Messiah. Rather than address their obvious lack of faith in Him, He commanded the storm, “Silence! Be still!” (Mark 4:39a). One commentary I read said that “Be still” in the Greek meant to not only calm down, but to remain calm.

That is interesting to me. Remain calm. Though He was speaking directly to the storm, He was also speaking to His disciples…and to us. No matter the weather, we need to remain calm.

Once the wind and waves obeyed His charge, He turned to His disciples and asked why they were so afraid. “Do you still have no faith?” He asked. After all they had witnessed, all Christ had said and done, they still wavered, doubted.

It’s easy to get caught up in the stormy moments of life and let the diagnosis, the test result, the breakup, the accident dictate our actions and reactions. But we need to remember that underneath the black and grey sky waits a sky of peace and light. If only we could remain calm.

If only we could never lose faith, and remember that, though Christ may be sleeping, He will still the storm.

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14 thoughts on “Stormy weather

  1. “And attempt adulthood”. Way to go Heather. That phrase is a Jay Oh Why! πŸ™‚

    Then remain calm. We have a catchphrase from a “classic tv series” – Dad’s Army. The phrase is “don’t panic” (yells Corporal Jones as he does the opposite). Like don’t argue. Remain loving. Don’t attack me. Remain respectful. Remain. Tricky to put a negative after that word. Not one that has power.

    Remain Heather. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much, Paul. To remain in Him is my desire. I need to stay, not stray. When I remain, then He brings the love. The peace. The hope. The comfort. The joy. The hand to uphold, to hold. He brings the Word. He brings the smile that says, “Thank you for remaining.”
      He is so very good. So, yes, Paul, I shall remain for He is my solid foundation. I am planted firmly in Him and He in me.

      • Now see that Heather – word pairings! You have a gift not only for sifting – you have a gift for pairing – so beautifully! So powerfully!

  2. Thanks Heather, every time the storm hits, it seems like He is sleeping or off somewhere. I mean really, how could it storm on my life when He is right there with me! “”Be still He whispers or “Lie Still”. I obey and it is well with my soul. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Yes, Lady Di…OBEY Him. Be still. Remain calm. Trust. Have faith. Don’t be afraid. None of His words to us include things like, “panic” or “doubt” or “kick and scream”. He wants us to lean on Him. Always. Love to you, Di!

  3. Wow! So much here, Heather. First, you’re a wonderful writer, and I’m happy to be following you. Second, I know it’s true about those Oklahoma skies. I lived there for six years; the weather is a real spectacle. I recall gorgeous days that grew quite violent, only to pass and allow me to witness a beautiful sunset. Finally, your message here is quite sobering. I take it to heart because I’ve experienced the suddenness of an unhappy change of pace. Reading this gives me hope that my beautiful sky awaits. Cheers.

    • Thank you so very much, Mike. I truly appreciate your comment.
      A sudden, unhappy change of pace can definitely make us want to focus on the dark skies, but as Christians, we know that Jesus is on the boat and He will bring out the sun again. Years ago when I was a teacher, I had a student who used to say, “I love the rain and the dark clouds because I know God might grace us with a rainbow.” Such insight for a 17-year-old girl! I try to focus on the hope of the “beautiful sky”, too, Mike, and am thrilled to be following you as well. Blessings to you, my friend.

  4. Thank you for this beautiful truthful post. I had blue skies until Easter but since then, there have been a host of difficulties, some very upsetting. I keep hoping that peace will return but God is saying through your writing that His peace is always there, if I will trust Him.

    • Thank you so much for stopping by! I am grateful that God works through each of us to calm the storms in others’ lives so that we never forget He is always present. I pray the blue skies return soon and that God blesses you today. πŸ™‚

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