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(Job 36:27 42:17)
by Paul Fletcher
Spring is the greatest season of the year, isnt it! What a delight to see the cold, freezing snow-cover melt away into the many rivulets of water. It is wonderful to feel the ground again under your feet, warmed and softened by the warm sunshine. Daylight lasts later and later into the evening. We can finally open the windows again to let the fresh air flood our houses.
Spring is also a time of unstable weather patterns, sudden showers, and changes in the winds. Spring awakens our hearts to a promise that warmer days of summer are on the horizon. It is a season of planting with the hopeful anticipation of a harvest. Along with our hopes go our prayers for rain and sunshine in appropriate quantities. We realize that all the efforts put into planting mean nothing unless Gods grace provides for a fruitful growing season, and a plentiful harvest in the end.
I have watched the development of thunderstorms on the horizon many times. A day full of sunshine can finish with a sudden squall in the cool of an evening. How often I have watched the dark, gray clouds on the horizon and thought to myself, Theyre really experiencing a heavy rainstorm over there. Im thankful its not happening over here!
A sudden change in the winds direction lets me know Ive spoken too soon! The clouds that once looked far away drift in my direction, billowing higher and becoming darker as they draw near. Flashes of lightning and a low distant rumble are becoming peals of thunder and jagged flashes of lightning. The storm is drawing ever closer. After scurrying around trying to tie down or put away everything in the yard that needs to be, I run toward the house and the first big drops of rain begin to smack against the ground. Through my windows, I can safely watch Gods natural light show proceed, as the rain washes the last dirty remnants of winter down the gutters.
One particular storm left an indelible imprint on me, completely changing my perspective ever since. The lightning and thunder were so intense, I was actually afraid. The lightning was striking so close to home that the flash and the bang occurred simultaneously! It shook me to my very core. I was in the presence of a force way too big for me to comprehend, much less control. I was at the mercy of these elements. I found myself feeling very, very small.
A thunderstorm can wreak great havoc on the earth, bringing awful destruction. At the same time, the same storm can provide much needed moisture and nourishment. Havoc and hope, fear and freshness there is a wonderful balance to the ebb and flow of a thunderstorm. Jobs friend, Elihu, had obviously encountered such storms. Out of the storm he found an awesome revelation of God!
What a difference a day makes when the storms of life begin to draw closer and closer, until they crash upon us seem like they will drown us in a sea of troubles. In our arrogance we thought ourselves to be untouchable, yet in the midst of troubles we are brought to a place of helplessness, weakness, even defeat.
In times like these, we need to be reminded of who God is and what His purposes are. Sometimes, when God wants to do something new in our hearts, He brings in a storm to clear out old, dead rubbish while at the SAME TIME planting something new of HIMSELF in our hearts. How we need to be reminded of Gods unfailing love and wisdom, His superior perspective on our circumstances, His all-encompassing control over our troubles. How we need to learn to rest in Him, open our hearts to learn from Him, surrender our lives into His capable hands.
Sometimes God will calm our storms. Often times He will allow them to continue to call us to draw near Him. Either way, we can only find peace and calmness for our spirits in Him. Press in to God. Draw near to His presence.
Author: Paul Fletcher
Publication Date: May 14, 2002
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