The black cloud hanging over the hill behind our home had an eerie, foreboding look. My weather.com app carried a severe thunderstorm alert for most of the day which is not unusual in the summer time. Denise and I sat down to eat while keeping an eye on the storm. After thanking the Lord for His grace provision before us and asking for protection, I took one bite and then . . . . Whoosh!!!!! Oh, how quickly 60-70 mph winds descended upon our home and neighborhood! I watched my back porch receive a needless deep cleaning as the wind swept away our swing, coffee table, chairs, grill, etc! Gone! Scattered all over our neighbor’s yard, hanging on the fence across the road, and thrown in the catch basin down the road! Siding on the west side of my house was pulled out. A four-county area here in East Tennessee was affected with power outages, downed trees, structural damage, and sadly, loss of lives.
Here are a few quick thoughts as I consider this storm in retrospect:
- A storm like this reminds me that the earth is groaning due to curse of sin (Genesis 1, 3; Romans 8:18-25). Devastating storms were not a part of Eden, but creation eagerly awaits its release from this corruption (Romans 8:19-21). In the meantime, every harsh storm is a reminder that creation’s groaning is not normal; Eden is. God’s original purpose for creation will return, which we long and hope for (Romans 8:22-25; Revelation 22:1-5).
- A storm like this reminds me that the stuff of earth is temporal, here today and gone tomorrow. Interesting enough, I had just gone out to remove a few things off our coffee table to prevent them from being blown away. Well, that shows how strong I am at holding onto the temporal. Therefore, Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2), and godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content . . . But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness (1 Timothy 6:6-8, 11).
- A storm like this reminds me that I need to heed the warnings and commands in Scripture more carefully that I did the weather alert. How easy it is to just get adjusted to all the weather alerts that when a storm does arrive, as they warned us, we are surprised and unprepared. Furthermore, I need to genuinely realize that the meteorologists will not get it right every time, but the commands and warnings of Scripture are holy and righteous for all eternity. Note these two potent statements found in Proverbs 11:8, 14, The righteous is delivered from trouble, and the wicked walks into it instead. . . . Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
Interesting that when the winds picked up yesterday on a beautiful, sunny afternoon, I for a moment was transported back to Friday evening. That storm got my attention. Does the Word have your attention?