The first time I remember weather was as a kid living in Houston and Hurricane Carla came across the top of us. I must have been 4 or 5 and I remember during the eye of the storm playing with my Tonka trucks on the front porch. In the yard out in front there was debris scattered all about. – I don’t remember being scared, just how calm and quiet it was.
The second time I remember weather was when I was about 8. We were camping on top of a mountain in Colorado watching a storm in the valley below. Suddenly a tornado dropped out of the clouds. We were above the storm and could see everything happening as the tornado whipped trees and wrapped branches and long grasses around power lines. Then it was gone. I was frightened and wanted to know what we would do if it came up the mountain.
A few years ago I took up bow hunting. One evening as I sat in a tree I had chosen as my hunting stand, I heard a rumble. It sounded like a large truck or train off in the distance. I looked across the field adjacent to my tree and beyond at the hills in the far distance. I could see clouds moving my direction; a front was moving in.
As I sat there, the clouds came closer and the sound grew louder. I could see in the far distance the treetops begin to bend toward me and sway. Then it got closer. I could see the tall grass in the field I was looking over bend and whip as it came at me. Then it hit me, the cold front blew over me and the temperature dropped. It pushed past and kept going up the hills until the front consumed everything I could see in both directions. It was awesome.
A year or so later it happened from that tree again. The second time I knew what was coming, so I was giddy with excitement. There was nothing at that moment I could think of but how God was blessing me with a view of His power and His wonder.
Today, I was on the balcony of my hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. The week of meetings now over, I had risen early to drink coffee and reflect on the day ahead. I looked over the bay and saw a grey blanket that encapsulated the horizon. I could see the water tossing and turning at the front edge, the sails on the docked sailboats begin to flap hard and fast. The wind, then rain, came over the hotel and soaked it in a shower of cool fresh air and water.
I know there are times when I truly cannot for the life of me figure out what God is doing in my life, why he is not answering prayer when I think He should or why the pain and struggling. Recently I am trying to learn that the hardships are a time of learning and a time to draw closer to Him, to rely on Him. Amazing thing is, through that, I get a lot of relief.
We are all going to have hardships and struggles, bad things happen. But I wonder how those who do not have a Father, who don’t have God in their lives ever make it? I find I lean on Him more every year. I hunger for Him, like that front I watched from the tree the second time. I knew the experience like I know the joy of relying on God. I anticipated the weather change and wonderful, exhilarating feeling. If I never get in the tree, go outside or pay attention, I surely will never experience it. I want to live my life with as many of those moments as I can get. Unafraid of the tornadoes in the valley or the beginning and end of the hurricane – but the wonder of His love for me and how I can have it come over me each and every day.