By Diane Houghtaling
We have all heard of the calm before the storm, that eerie stillness that precedes a storm and gives a false sense of well-being. But I am thankful for the calm that comes after the storm, when we can breathe a sigh of relief and know that the worst is over. It is a chance to calm down and let the worry, stress and anxiety drain from us before we assess the damage and see where we go from here. Some storms are mild, gentle rains, and after they’re over everything looks fresh, clean and renewed. I especially love to see how much greener the trees look after a gentle shower. It is the same in our lives. After we go through a mild storm, we may gain a fresh perspective and see things more clearly. Perhaps we had a bad attitude about something not going the way we’d hoped, or a disagreement with someone. But now in the calm after the storm we’ve had time to think about it and see things differently. But there are also severe storms like we’ve just experienced from Hurricane Sandy. These storms sweep through leaving a path of destruction and devastation. There may be moments in such a storm when we wonder if we’ll even survive. The calm after these severe storms comes with a great sigh of relief and thankfulness that it has passed and we’ve made it through. Once we’ve had that moment of peace to calm down, then we can assess the damage. If everything is destroyed, uprooted and torn apart, we begin preparations to start over and rebuild. In life we also go through such severe storms that many times we wonder if we’ll survive. They come in many forms and leave paths of destroyed, uprooted lives that are torn apart and devastated. These can be addictions that tear families apart, tragic accidents that leave bodies broken, terminal illnesses that take loved ones, financial pressures that uproot us. As we go through these severe trials hoping to just survive, we long for a day when they will finally be over. It may feel like an eternity, but eventually the day will come when the hardest part is over and we have that moment of calm to just stop and breathe a sigh of relief. Then we can begin to build our lives again and go on from there. No matter what storm we may be going through, there is a place of calm we can find. Luke 8:24 says, “[Jesus] got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.” As we cry out to Jesus, He will calm our storms and then help us to rebuild our lives.
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