I grew up in the Midwest. I know about storms. I have driven through areas that have been ravaged by a tornado. I have seen the damage that a severe thunderstorm can cause. I have been woken up in the middle of the night by our weather radio announcing a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. Our family has spent time under our house hiding from tornadoes. As I said, I understand storms and their destructive power, which is why what I did several weeks ago was actually pretty dumb.
I didn’t realize that there was the danger of severe weather. Actually, I don’t think anyone did. The skies had been clear and it had been HOT. I had just finished working with a client on the other side of our metro area and was headed home. I needed to do some grocery shopping at Aldi, so I stopped. There were a few clouds, but nothing big. As I was finishing up in the store, people’s cell phones started going off with alerts, and there was a report of severe weather in the area. We started hearing tornado sirens. A surprise supercell had sprung up right over the town where I was, and there were tornadoes inside the storm. The clerks moved everyone to the store room and the cooler in the grocery store, and we waited until the sirens stopped.
I finished checking out and went outside. The sky did not look good, and the storm was coming my way. Now, there is a major rule in tornadoes and thunderstorms, “Don’t try to out run them.” You can get caught in the storm pretty easily and your car can be picked up by the power of the tornado. So, seeing the storm was so close and heading toward me, I did what only a guy would do. I threw my groceries in the car and decided to head home. If you have ever shopped at Aldi, you know that this is one of the bring your own bag stores. So, I had shopping bags that were half full, and other food items that I hadn’t taken the time to bag. I was just chucking items into the trunk as fast as I could, a loaf of bread here, and a box of cereal there, some cans, and slam the trunk. I would sort it out later.
Just as I was finishing loading the car I got a text. It was from my Christy, “I heard there is bad weather, where are you and are you ok.” Here I am trying to chuck groceries in the car and get on the road, and the text message goes off. I have fat fingers, and don’t type on those little keyboards very well, so I just put in the word, “Safe” and kept chucking.
Of course, that little bit of info was enough to tell my dear wife that I wasn’t giving her the whole story, so, instead of making her feel better, it made her more worried. She texted back “A little evasive, I know that’s not the whole story.” I was watching the storm get closer, so I thought I would call later, hopped in my car and headed out (a little faster than I should have). The storm was moving east and I live southeast of the city. So, I thought I would go east a bit, south, then back east and hopefully outrun the storm. Well, the storm seemed to follow exactly my path. I was no more than 10 minutes ahead of it, and never gained any time. Well, needless to say (since I am writing this story now), I made it home safely, and promptly gave my 18 year old and my 15 year old a lecture that, when they are driving, never try to outrun a storm (hypocritical parenting at its best).
Oh, and yes, I did call Christy on the way home and told her the whole story. That night on the news we watched where a tornado had touched down less than 3 miles from where I had been in the storage room at Aldi. WHEW!!!
Storms can be very destructive, unleash amazing power, create chaos, and leave our lives in shambles. But that doesn’t stop them from coming. And come they will. It may be a weather event, or it may be a life event. There is death, unemployment, sickness, chaos in our lives, foreclosure, a child in trouble, parents who need care, etc., etc., etc. Storms will come, but how do we handle them. Well, outrunning them might sometimes work (but trust me it isn’t advisable!). Sitting still might work sometimes. Sometimes we can weather the storm by just waiting it out. Panic doesn’t work, and neither does giving up. Here’s my best suggestion for how to handle a storm. REST.
That’s right, this month we are looking at, What would love do, and, since Jesus was the perfect example of love (as defined in 1 Cor 13), we are seeing how Jesus loved, and how we are called to love. So, what did Jesus do when the storms came. He slept!!! When the storm threatened to tear apart the boat that Jesus and disciples were in, Jesus was in the bottom, asleep. Why? Because he know who was in charge of the storm. He knew who controlled the weather, He knew it wasn’t His time yet, and He knew that His Father was over all. So, because He trusted His Father, He slept.
1 Cor. 13 says love always trusts. Jesus did just that, regardless of what was going on, Jesus always trusted His Father. He trusted that he would be being protected in the storm, to trusting Him on the cross, to committing His spirit to the Father at His death. He trusted. That’s what I am called to do in my marriage. I trust.
I trust Christy. I trust that she loves me. I trust that she wants what is best for me. I trust her faithfulness. I trust her judgment. She does the same with me. She trusts that I love her. She trusts me to be faithful. But, frankly, sometimes that trust is misplaced. Sometimes my judgment stinks (remember outrunning a tornado!!). Sometimes I don’t love her like I should. While I have always been faithful to her, truth is sometimes I let other things become more important to me than she is. Sometimes I am not worthy of her trust. Even worse, we know some couples that have dealt with major breaches of trust, and that trust must be regained. How do you “always trust” when that trust has been broken.
You make sure the trust is put in the right place. You see Christy can trust me, not because I am trustworthy, but because she knows the One who is trustworthy. God promised that, as His child, everything will work together for good for her. It may be unpleasant. It may hurt. It may be stressful. But God will work it together for her good and most importantly for His glory. Love always trusts. She can show me love, and love on me, because she is free of fear. I will fail, but God will not. She can love me, because she trusts God.
So, as I said, when the storms come, rest. Live life. God is in control. We can know that in the midst of the storm, He has it all taken care of, and we can simply rest in Him. Will it stress us out. Of course. Will there be pain, undoubtedly. Will there even be destruction. A lot the time, yes, but we love each other, because we trust God, and we can rest in that.