Part 1 – Calm before the storm
I’ve been working out at our national sports stadium all summer and most times, it’s scorching heat with not even a hint of breeze to cool me off. Today was a little different. It’s not extremely windy, but I’ve experienced a little more opposition from the wind that I’m facing as I run. This would seem like the perfect summer day to most people, but for people living in Bermuda, we know that a storm is approaching. This is the calm before hurricane Leslie arrives. The Emergency Measures Organization is warning people to get ready for Leslie well in advance of her arrival. They advise residents to purchase sufficient water, board up windows and buy an adequate supply of food. All of these measures are to not only protect your vulnerabilities but to also strengthen you for the future.
Even when we experience this calm before the impending storm, we can still see signs of its approach. There may be more wind, the skies may darken slightly and there are signs in our environment that indicate that tempestuous times are ahead. Animals often react to changes in the atmosphere.
” Plenty of studies have shown that some animals can sense major changes in the weather. Worms, for instance, are known to flee rising groundwater. Birds are known to be sensitive to air pressure changes, and often hunker down before a big storm. And in Florida, researchers studying tagged sharks say they flee to deeper water just before a big hurricane arrives. They also may be sensing the air and water pressure changes caused by the big storm.”
Before Leslie was on anyone’s radar, meteorologists had been tracking the storm activity in the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes people in our lives can see the signs of a storm approaching before we do. Being in the eye of the storm will skew our perspective and we need someone looking in to give us a different view of things. Listen to people when they warn you about disturbances that they sense.
I mentioned earlier about being prepared. Even though we may see certain signs of impending danger, we don’t always have warning when bad things happen to us. Sickness can often be an unexpected storm in our lives. Job loss is another. These storms can come at us and knock us off balance and this is where preparedness comes in. When sickness and death affect our loved ones, we are promised a peace and hope that those outside of Christ can never experience. The bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13 “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.” We can prepare ourselves for the most difficult of life’s trials by knowing Christ. As in any other relationship, we need to cultivate our time with Jesus and spend time getting to know Him. We prepare for trials in other ways such as serving others. This takes the focus off self and shifts it to other people. Otherwise, we are prone to have a self-pity and waste time being angry at God and the world. The Holy Spirit is our comfort and He is everything we need during hard times. Ironically, present trials prepare us for future trials. James 1:3 tells us that trials lead to perseverance – the ability to keep going and not give up when life becomes unbearable.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, HOPE. Romans 5:3-4
The calm before the storm is the only time to prepare for the tempest because when we’re in it, there is nothing we can do except ride it out. This is when we get to experience Peace in your Storm. Prayers have gone up that it will pass over us and we won’t experience any damage, but even in the times when we’ve face disaster, we still can have Hope in the Aftermath. Check back for these posts in a couple days.
Speaking of hope, I’m hoping to get one more swim in before our unwelcome visitor arrives on Friday.