Beauty in the Storms

Sky in Missouri Monday night Photo credit:  Clarissa Weter
Sky in Missouri Monday night
Photo credit: Clarissa Weter

It’s almost embarrassing to admit this, but lately I’ve been in a little bit of a pity-party kind of mood.  That habitual escape of self-loathing has never helped me, and if anything, it tends to create guilt for ever doing it in the first place.  I hurt my leg a few weeks ago and have not been able to run or ride my bike.  My house is always in chaos with three young children.  The necessity for me to show up at work each day with a smile on my face is hard to do.  Finances are tight due to adding another child.  I even feel a slight envy in my heart over the vacation pictures of numerous friends on Facebook.

I went to bed Monday night prepared to be woken up from the stormy night that was expected.  We had our blanket, flashlights, diaper bag, extra shoes, and bike helmets lined up by the nook of a hiding place under our stair well just in case of a tornado. Thankfully, the storms died down before they entered the area that we live.  I woke up in the morning feeling worn down with my leg hurting and thinking about all I needed to accomplish at work that day.

I picked the baby up and shuffled into the living room.  Barely awake, I made a pot of coffee and secured the baby in his high chair for his morning snack.  I could smell the coffee percolating while I sat there and stared at the laundry pile on the chair next to me.  Pretty soon I picked my tired body up and filled my cup of coffee.  It is rare when I get a chance to watch the news in the morning, so I took advantage of the moment.  I flipped to one of the major news networks to watch the coverage of the tornado that struck our neighboring state.  Pretty soon I could taste the salt of my tears that were meandering their way down my face.

During this time, my daughter got up and sat next to me on the couch.  In that moment of quietness with just the faint sound of the news in the background and the taste of my tears, I thought to myself, “What are you doing? What are you thinking even beginning to feel that you are owed something, or that you don’t have enough?”  I felt shame for the pity-party I had been toying around with for the past few days.  I felt guilt for not trusting the Lord with the areas of my life that are causing stress.  I felt disgusted and sickened for taking what I do have for granted, and for desiring more.

The images of the destruction, neighbors and family members searching with desperation for their loved ones, crumpled houses, a flattened school, and the numbers of the victims and injured scrolling at the bottom of the television all stuck to me like glue.  They punched me in the gut.  They shook me up.  They took my breath away.  Truthfully, they should do this.  It is easy to get caught in the trap of gluttony and greed.  It is even easier to allow the blessings of life to turn into things that cause stress.

The heaviness I felt in my heart was soon replaced by the thought of this simple truth:

The love of Christ and redemption found in Him can never be destroyed by the wrath of storms.  The promise of the Lord is the only thing that will never go away.  Our homes may be destroyed, our children may pass away, our jobs may be dissolved, and our health may deteriorate, but the Cross will always stand.  He will always stand.  

After these thoughts bombarded me, I finished my coffee, leaned over and kissed my little girl, and went about getting ready for the rest of my day.  I know I will always need reminders of the promise of salvation.  I also know that I will walk the tightrope of trappings of an Earthly life.  I know there will be days where I just want to pull the covers over my head.  There will be storms that rage in my heart, my mind, and my life.

The pictures in this post are of the sky over Missouri following the tornado in Oklahoma.  It was beautiful to look at.  The sky following the Joplin tornado was eerily beautiful as well.  It makes sense though.photo (63)

 It is in the storms of life that the true beauty of faith in Christ is revealed.  

9 thoughts on “Beauty in the Storms

  1. Jenn

    I’m visiting b/c Lisha nominated my blog … and yours.
    What a post. It is so easy to become mired in just about anything. We’re told over and over again to not forget what God has done. We tend to let it slip from our hearts and minds and do so need reminding – which you have done here in this post.
    These kinds of storms (literally and figuratively) can be so hard to reckon … I too felt an emptiness for the victims – you know – I heard so much that they did not feel the emptiness but life and praising God for being alive. It’s a whole different perspective. Maybe they are more blessed in the storm than we know.
    Glad I got to read your post!
    Jenn

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  2. Transformed By The Journey

    I absolutely agree that the Lord graciously pulls us back to reality and loving reminds us of the abundant life he has given us in the midst of our narrow perspectives. However, I want you to let yourself off the hook, just a bit. Your struggles ARE real to him. Just as the Lord does not view sins on a sliding scale, he doesn’t view our trails on a sliding scale. He is intimately acquainted with what concerns us and you matter to him.Yes, he knows that gratitude is a significant factor in our joy but he also understands what we face. He wouldn’t say he would give rest to the weary if that wasn’t his desire to do so. You have a great deal on your plate and you are only human. The tragedies taking place in the world don’t lessen the load you bear. It’s okay to be overwhelmed with the daily responsibilities that are on your shoulders and in your heart. I’m so thankful that he keeps me from drowning in my very small concerns but I’m equally as thankful that I matter to him and he knows how difficult the things we face are. (Just a little grace from afar).

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  3. icanseealight

    Thanks for putting into words some of the same things I’ve been thinking lately. Definitely a reminder to kind of snap us out of our own little world and remember what’s really important.

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  4. rusha

    “It is even easier to allow the blessings of life to turn into things that cause stress.”

    A pastor once told us that whatever makes us happy will eventually make us sad… It’s always best to anchor our hope in Father God who loves us so much. 🙂

    Like

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