Apparently yesterday wasn’t a good day for an early morning walk. Ignorant of the magnitude and timing of an approaching storm, my friend and I met for a walk at 7 thinking we could beat the rain that was expected about 8. “What storm?” we thought. We were happily engrossed in our walking and talking with quite a distance still to cover when the sky darkened and the wind picked up. A lot. It rained. Hard.
We couldn’t have been wetter if we had been swimming laps. Our feet squished and our hair dripped. We laughed and ran and walked and wished we’d brought a cell phone. But I wasn’t afraid. (Ok, branches blowing off of trees did give me pause, but only momentarily. I was too busy running.) It was kind of fun. Once you’re completely soaked, who cares?
Throughout the day I noticed many large branches and fallen trees on the sides of streets and that facebook was peppered with “out of power” posts. My mom called to check on us and my brother came over to borrow our generator. The storm was the top news story in Chicago. I am shocked by the severity of this storm, for I was out in it, completely unprotected, and it didn’t seem that bad.
I wonder if things can look worse from the outside of a storm than they actually are on the inside. When I was a kid, my mom tells me that I cried in the doctor’s office as I watched my brother or sister receive a shot, and then I stopped when I got one myself. It looked worse than it felt.
Yesterday, I felt like a little kid splashing in puddles, blissfully unaware of any danger. Of course, storms are dangerous, many people are still out of power which is a huge inconvenience at best, property has been damaged and people may have been injured, but I didn’t know, as I sloshed in the rain, what this storm would look like from the outside. I was still experiencing it from the inside.
Ultimately, we and the literal and metaphorical storms around us are in God’s hands. In a demonstration of that fact, Jesus once commanded a storm to cease its bluster. “Cut it out!” he said. Just like that, it was over. In the resulting calm, Jesus asked his quaking disciples, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Good question. Too often, I fear approaching storms as I nervously watch thunderclouds build. They look pretty serious from the outside, but with Jesus in our boats we can be calm on the inside.
Do you have any storm stories? Has Jesus calmed any tempests for you? Or maybe he calmed you while a storm raged on?