A Friend of Jesus
STORMS & FLOODS
Enjoying the Rain
This afternoon I sat on bench in the dog park and watched the clouds. The sky was blue and beautiful. The clouds were many and various. The Sun shined off the tops of the clouds. I watched as they gradually changed shape. They seem to be growing in size. They weren't moving fast, just steady and shape-shifting as they floated along. I watched as they slowly became darker and blocked out the blue sky. The wind began to pick up and leaves swirled around me. I noticed that birds were still landing in the grass nearby for a Father's day feast of worms and such. The coming storm didn't seem to bother them. Wagsley was busy sniffing every blade of grass and didn't even notice when the rain started. It wasn't a heavy rain. It felt more like God had turned on the mister and was cooling me down. It has been humid here in Houston. While the temperatures are around 90 the humidity is oppressive. But all of that was breaking and it was pleasant sitting watching the progression of the coming storm while being lightly sprinkled with cool water.
I used to be afraid of thunderstorms. They made me uneasy. Then I met Justin. One of his favorite things to do was watch the storm. It never seemed to make him nervous or uneasy. I remember once we were driving home from somewhere and the rain started. A tornado warning came on the radio and I looked at him. He could tell I was freaking out. He smiled this boyish grin and said, "here we go." Then the sirens went off nearby. He was looking all around for a way through traffic, which was inconveniently stop and go. He made a way and took off down the shoulder, which actually scared me more than the sirens going off all around us. With each new city we arrived at, the sirens were blaring. It was a harrowing moment as the rain was so heavy that we couldn't see where the tornado was or if there was one. By the time we got home my stomach was in knots. Justin was calm and took me in his arms and held me. Then he started to laugh. "You really were scared."
Over the course of the next couple of years he taught me to see the wonder and the beauty in the storm. Now when it rains or storms I stand outside under the patio and watch. Here in Houston we get some pretty heavy rain. So much in fact that the parking lot floods and the water cascades off the roof in sheets. It can get mighty wild at times. I can't even imagine what it was like during Hurricane Harvey when they got 4 feet of rain! When you learn to enjoy the storm and not fear, you can actually have peace in the middle of it all. You become the calm in the storm, the eye of the hurricane. That is a gift Justin gave me, without intentionally doing so.
Imagine Jesus standing in the storm. No fear, no panic, just complete calm and maybe even a smile on his face. He motions to you to come stand next to him. Amazing enough, there is no wind swirling around the two of you. The sun is shining. Even though you can see the storm all around you, there is unbelievable peace with Jesus in the midst of it. This is what it is like for many of us day in and day out. There is a storm raging all about us, but because of our relationship with the master of the wind and commander of the rain we can have complete peace in the storm.
Imagine Jesus showing you the wonder all around you. When you aren't focusing on the crazy, you can see the beauty. There is such amazing beauty in the storm of life. It's electric. It's loud. It's wild and swirling with passion, joy, happiness, love, sadness, and every emotion known to man. This is the experience of a lifetime.
Imagine Jesus teaching us to dance in the rain. There is such simplicity and cleansing when you learn to dance in the rain. Justin used to say, "It's just water." When I walk in the rain like I did today I remember, "it's just water."
Don't miss the storm by being afraid. Trust the one who calms the storm, to lead you through it and help you to experience ALL of life, even the scary bits. They aren't nearly as scary as all that when you Imagine Jesus holding your hand and squeezing it tight. "I got this, " He says. Fear disappears and your eyes open to a world of wonder, "Trust me."
Luke 8:22-25 "One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.
“Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
Psalm 141:8 " But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death."
Remember to listen to today's song. Click on the link to hear the calm in the storm.