Friday, October 26, 2012

Riding Out the Storms

I’m writing this on Friday, so I really have no idea how badly Hurricane Sandy might treat us here on the Outer Banks and East Coast.  Hopefully it will be minor, although the talking meteorology heads have dubbed it "Frankenstorm" or something. 

Storms can surprise us, can’t they?  It’s rare for a hurricane to threaten us this late in the season, although we have had some major fall storms here.  Who here can forget Halloween Storm when the barge hit the Oregon Inlet Bridge, or the Thanksgiving storm a year or two ago?

Life is like the weather.  We love the sunny, clear days.  And we dread the times when the dark, stormy clouds gather and we know a rough time is ahead.  But God must have good reason for allowing us to go through the storms. 

Jesus said they would happen.  He told us to be sure we build our lives on the solid rock so we could withstand them.  And in as vivid an illustration as I can imagine He woke from a nap as His disciples worried that a storm would sink their boat and simply told the storm to cease.

Right now in my life I feel like I’m in that boat.  And I know that in His time the storm will give way to perfect peace again.  It’s just that the rocky ride can be overwhelming, especially if we focus on the waves and the wind. 

So I encourage you to learn with me how to focus on the solid Rock and the peace that passes all understanding.  Learn to praise Him in the storm.

And I'll praise You in this storm   
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are   
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried   
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side  
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm. 
(Casting Crowns)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Keeping Our Perspective

Yesterday was not a good day for our house.

I got a frantic call from Gail that water was coming out of our hot water heater and the "whole house is flooded".

Fifteen minutes later I was wading through it myself.  Gail had a broom, sweeping water out the back door.  Not quite the whole house, but 3 bedrooms, utility room, kitchen, office and living room.  All covered with water.

I ran to the local Ace Hardware and grabbed a 10 gallon Shop Vac and started immediately getting the water out.  I called a local company that deals with these kinds of things and they arrived, setting up fans and dehumidifiers.  I went down to our homeowners insurance office and opened a claim.  Our daughter and son-in-law came from work to help get things out of the house.  Everything that had been on the floors was wet.

The adjuster comes over at noon today to assess the damage.  Then the real work will likely begin and we will probably have to be out of our house for a while.

Can I say that this wasn't the best possible time for something like this to happen?

As we looked at many of our belongings, including old photos and such drying out on our deck, I could see that the emotion of it all was weighing heavily on Gail.  So I reminded her of the need to put this all into perspective.

"This is how I see it.  Yesterday I took the wedding ring off of the finger of a 50 year old husband and father who died unexpectedly and gave it to his son who handed it to his mom.  Today our daughter-in-law is in the hospital struggling with lungs that no longer want to work and facing a second lung transplant.  What's happened here is nothing in comparison.  This is stuff that can be fixed or replaced.  This is just an inconvenience.  And God knows all about it."

Perspective matters in how we deal with the curve balls life throws our way.  Keep your perspective.  Most likely "this too, shall pass".