Life has its heartaches, no doubt about that. There is a season for joy, as well as sorrow (Ecclesiastes 3). What can we do in the midst of the storm? I used the word “weathering” because it is rich with meaning. We aren’t simply “enduring” storms, we are weathering them. Weathering actually has two meanings:
1. To wear away, or change the appearance of something over time
2. To come safely through
Too many of us fall victim to the first definition, while having trouble achieving the second. Have you ever met an older man, his chiseled features betraying a long, difficult life? His countenance has changed over time. He appears to others around him more defeated than victorious. That same “downward spiral” can happen in our lives, as well. We can stand still, and allow our past and present circumstances diminish and degrade our future. Or we can come safely through.
There are two thousand lightning storms active around the world at any given moment.
You apparently cannot escape stormy weather. What then, can escort us safely through the difficult times of life? I would like to share one memorable illustration that might help you in those moments when you feel lost and alone.
I live in North Texas, otherwise known as “Tornado Alley”. There have been two massive tornadoes pass through my city in its history. Here, we know weather. We watch it more closely than most. Technology has made it much easier. I pull out my smart phone, and can pull up radar and see the weather conditions in less than a minute. Not only that, but I easily adjust the phone to zoom in on a particular storm, or zoom out to view the whole state or country. I can zoom in on one location, or I can zoom out and see them all. I feel a little safer knowing the storm on the screen is moving, and won’t be there forever.
“To have perspective is to have the ability to gauge the place and importance of events and interactions in our lives; to be able to grasp the big picture!”
Keeping things in proper perspective is probably one of the most important items on life’s agenda. Too often we choose to zoom in on a storm in our life, and all we can focus on are our immediate circumstances. We see what is going on around us, but have lost our ability to see the big picture. More than likely, if we zoomed out, we would see how temporary and weak the storm really is. We could gauge how fast the storm is moving, and realize that it won’t be around very much longer.
What an important life lesson! Take the time to zoom out of unpleasant circumstances, and see that they might not be as overwhelming as you first thought. The same God that sent the rain has sunshine in your forecast. You just haven’t zoomed out to see for yourself. I am determined to discipline myself and keep my perspective by trying to see things from God’s vantage point. I can make peace with the idea that into every life some rain must fall, but I know the sun shall soon rise again.
I plan on making it safely through.
What’s your five-day forecast?