It’s probably going to be the hottest day of spring 2013 so far. An estimated 31 degrees (Celsius) that will warm up our city and prepare us for the coming heat of the Australian summer. The promised sun, surf and sand…the freedom of walking and running outside… seasonal change is coming, and we are gladly fare welling being chilled to the bone, electric blankets and huddling around the heater. And it’s only September!
But with summer in Australia comes the usual threat of bushfires, the drama of summer storms. Today we’ve witnessed the familiar sights and sounds of fire, ravaging areas of bushland and reaching devastating fingers into suburbia, on the outskirts of our city. Destructive waves of hungry devastation that leave lives wrecked and hanging in the balance. We are perhaps less ready for this because it’s so early in the new season…
These ‘fire storms’ that become an encroaching menace during our hot weather seem to be starting earlier now, engulfing more. They can create even their own weather patterns. They stop at nothing until they’ve been quenched by the water bombing, the hosing, the back burning…
Ever been in your own ‘fire storm’?
Here we are, motoring along with the ‘seasons’ of our lives all planned, neatly tucked into our futures and unfolding them nicely in a way that is called ‘happiness’, (maybe even ‘blessed’! ) We are satisfied with the way that we have achieved life’s equilibrium in our current season and so are often not ready when the storm hits.
And then it’s here…
As we shade our eyes from the sunlight of the day, we can hear the distant rumble of the thunder. It gradually grows closer; the flashes of light surprise us, heralding a drenching of rain.
That lightning showing up on our horizon.
Ignition. And the storm begins.
Your storm could manifest as disease, financial pressure or the death of someone close. It could be the breakup of an important relationship, the loss of a dear pet or the change, by choice or not, of your occupation.
But it’s a storm.
Ever felt the ominous rumble, seen the light flashing of your own approaching tempest?
Your storm may have been months, years in the brewing, and you felt that it was coming. Or it may be one of the unpredictable ones that just creep up on us when we’re not looking. Out of the blue, so to speak…
But it’s started to create now its own weather pattern within your world. It’s demanding attention, seeking your very emotional health as its victim.
Whatever ‘storm’ you feel is approaching, or that you are in the middle of right now, or that you may be anticipating in the future, there are valuable life lessons that they can bring us.
Distant thunder is often just noise.
– Fear of an approaching storm is often more debilitating than the reality.
– If we can calmly evaluate the approaching storm, dealing with it accordingly, we can benefit.
– Fear of the unknown can unnerve us. Faith in the midst will empower us.
– Hunker down…look up!
Lightening can strike twice in the same place.
– It’s as simple as not putting yourself in the direct ‘firing line’ of a storm.
– Learn from your storm, take note of what to avoid next time. Reflect on what causes its ignition…
– Take shelter! Remember that a bushfire actually creates its own weather pattern. So can the emotions of your storm.
Wait for the rain – it will come.
– We often ‘move’ too fast, not waiting for the inevitable refreshing of the rain that follows.
– Help will come if we listen, look and understand where to call for that help.
Build with the new shoots.
– Rain brings new growth, don’t let it die, but use it well.
– The ‘green shoots’ are what bear the promise of a new future.
– Enjoy the next season, don’t re-live the pain, but use the lessons.
Do you remember that famous story of Jesus calming the storm in Matthew 8?
I am forever amazed that no matter what kind of tempest assails me, no matter how deep I am down in the whirlpool of life’s storms, He can always rescue me.
It’s just a matter of making that call…
“Then He stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: ”Silence!”. The sea became smooth as glass”. (Matt 8:26)
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