Last week, a storm engulfed Boise. Anything lacking weight flew around the city. Multitudes of tumbleweeds joining traffic, cardboard flipping its way down the streets, and people walking blind engulfed by their hair.
What was not secure, flew leaving a mess.
Currently, in the northwest people are losing homes and struggling to breathe due to scary fires and invasive smoke.
Storms can be destructive and life-changing.
There have been a few storms throughout US history:
The Revolutionary War
The Gulf War
Covid is a storm sweeping the world.
It is impacting every country, every community, and every person.
It is making an impact. . . an enormous impact.
Physical, mental, social, and financial impact.
What is not secure is flying and leaving a mess.
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The kids and I have been spending time reading the series Christian Heroes: Then and Now by Janet and Geoff Benge.
These books highlight who I want to be and who I want my kids to be when life-altering storms come our way.
Eric Liddle, separated from his wife and children, saw the very real needs of the people around him and helped bring about change that saved many lives.
Corrie Ten Boom and her family, while living in a clock shop, created the Angels den to provide a safe haven for Jews seeking refuge resulting in being thrown into a concentration camp. Corrie and her family endured an unimaginable storm and sacrificed their lives so others could live.
Gladys Aylward was living in the hills of China when the Japanese declared war. She trucked across China on foot with 100 children to save their lives. After arriving, she spent weeks in the hospital fighting for her own life. She should have died. But the strength she had built over the years prepared her for a heck of a storm, and her strength saved her life and the lives of so many.
When we are in a storm it is hard to see out of it.
And after a storm it is easy to only see the destruction left behind.
But what is important is what is happening inside.
What is happening inside the trees, inside the bushes, and inside you and me.
Storms can be overwhelming to live through.
They can leave big messes.
They can destroy good things.
Storms can leave the world feeling shaken, unknown, and insecure.
But. . . storms can be good.
Storms cause trees to grow stronger on the inside.
Storms help clear out old dead branches.
Storms help us see the sun more clearly.
Storms strengthen our character, our faith, and our endurance.
Storms strengthen our dependence on God.
We will spend quite a few years on this planet during which we will endure a storm or two.
Strength does not mean we can bench over 100 pounds.
Strength does not mean we can defend yourself.
Strength does not mean we are smarter than our neighbor.
In the Word, God describes strength as. . .
fighting for others.
oozing grace, mercy, and, love.
seeing ourselves as less and others as more.
fighting for our hearts before fighting for our needs.
As believers, our faith is secure.
The strongholds of this world are coming down. What is not secure is flying and leaving a mess.
Friends, loved-ones, and fellow believers let's live these days with the confidence in Hebrews 11:1. Let us live like those who have gone before us in Hebrews 11:2-40. And let us live out the greatest commandment in Mathew 22:37-40.
Storms may create a mess around us, but they do not have to create a mess within us.