The weather’s been a little volatile here in the Midwest. First, it was freezing, then it was nice, then it was cold, now it’s getting pretty hot, and the storms are plowing through with a mean streak.
Now, I’m the kid who saw “Twister” at way too young an age and have been terrified of storms all my life. My wife is the kind of kid who would jump inside a funnel cloud just to pretend she was Supergirl. So, a few nights ago, there was this nasty lightning storm. I don’t even think it really rained, just a strobe light in the clouds, flash after flash, without even a second to breath between bolts. My wife was sitting on the windowsill of a large window with wide eyes and an ecstatic grin. I decided to be a good husband, swallow my instinct to run under the covers with my Yoda plushy, and enjoy the moment with her. So, we snuggled on the window sill and watched the apocalypse together.
I may be a coward in storms, but it helped me to remember just why the storms are there. Like I said, it’s been getting hotter here and Mother Nature called in a storm to help rectify things. Storms generally bring the temperature down a few notches and keep things under control. I also remember being a teenager and making it into a movie theater just in time to avoid a torrential rainstorm. After the movie, I came out and realized I could see farther at night than ever before. The rain had cleaned the air.
This is why I don’t buy into half the global warming doomsday pitches. True, I believe that we should take care of the Earth, but I don’t think that it’s physically possible for human beings to actually destroy it. Why not? Because the Earth would kill us long before we kill it. The world has several built-in “correction” tools. The waves drag impurities on the earth into the depths, storms lash back at damage done to the air, and even the Ice Age was said to be a global “correction” to counteract…something, I’m not sure, I slept during Al Gore’s movie. But even the layman can see the good that storms do, and the peace that follows them.
Despite how scary they are, storms are a good thing. They’re the balances of nature to keep things in order. If we went too long without a storm, how hot would it get? And how much damage would be done to the crops? While I’m not saying we should run outside with a piece of metal held to the sky, I am saying that we should embrace them for what they are and the good they do.
But I’m not talking about the weather. I’m talking about life.
Everybody I know (myself included) would like to bypass the storms, to move through life without anything bad ever happening. But what good would that do us?
How would we learn patience and planning if the buses all ran on time? How educated would we really be if we all got “A’s” just for showing up to class? How would we find the right job if we weren’t denied the first one we applied for? How would you learn to spend money wisely if poverty never forced you? How could you learn if you never had to struggle?
And for my Christian audience, how much less would we appreciate God if we weren’t regularly reminded why we need Him?
I think God puts trials and storms in our lives for many reasons. Most often, it’s either to bring us back to Him, or to grow and test our character through fire. When we come out on the other side, we’re strengthened, hardened, and better than ever. Sometimes, it’s for corrective purposes, but even then, that improves our character.
Now, I’m not going to deny that bad things happen to good people for no reason other than it’s a crappy world. I don’t know why men like Hitler, Gacy, and Kony are allowed to walk this earth and spread their horrors. For situations like that, I’d recommend the book If God is Good… by Randy Alcorn. He answers those tough questions much better than I can.
I’m just saying don’t try to live your life without the tiniest bit of struggle, because you’re just going to become weak, immature, and cowardly. Again, I’m not saying go outside and play “Little Lightning Rod,” but when the storm comes bearing down on your windows, take a deep breath, brace yourself, and ride it out, keeping your mind’s eye on the other side of the clouds.
For me, the storm led to a special night of bonding with my wife as I encouraged her childlike wonder and she encouraged me to be brave.
Any storms in your life that took you someplace you couldn’t have gone without them?
Love you guys.