Monday, March 3, 2014

The Storms that Come

This past weekend, all the weathermen were predicting yet another snowmageddon to hit our city hard. I don’t know if they do this in other places, but in Pittsburgh, when the threat of a large snowstorm begins to loom, everyone runs to the stores to snatch up eggs, milk, bread, and toilet paper in bulk. No matter what else happens—Pittsburghers will never be caught snowed in without plenty of eggs, milk, bread and toilet paper to last until the spring thaw.

According to the reports, we could get anywhere from three to six to ten inches of snow. Now this is not our first snowstorm. While we don’t live with ten feet of snow for months like those in the most northern states do, we have enough experience with winter storms to know what to do and to have what we need at the ready to deal with its havoc. These storms may slow us down a little, but never stop us in our tracks completely.

Facing storms in life is something we all do. Big storms, little storms—sometimes we are right in the middle of the raging storm and sometimes, we get hit on the edge of someone else’s. Facing challenges in life is how we live and grow to be stronger and, hopefully, wiser, more compassionate human beings. And just as we prepare ourselves for the physical snowstorms by gathering the staples of life to wait out the storm’s worst, we need to prepare ourselves for the other kinds of challenges that we will encounter. There will be emotional and spiritual storms just as surely as there is always another storm rising in the atmosphere of the earth.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I prepare for the storms that come and go in my faith life. What are the staples I should be storing up? Obviously, the answer is spending time in the Word and in prayer. If these are our spiritual sustenance, why is it so hard to make them a lasting priority in my life? What are the spiritual equivalent to snow plows and ice melt? Maybe it would be regular worship and regular fellowship with brothers and sisters in the faith. If so, why is it so difficult to convince myself to attend to these spiritual disciplines? I don’t know.

But I do know that knowing God through his Word and in prayer is more desirable than not being with God. I know that to worship God is so much better than not worshiping him. And taking this journey with others is far preferable than traveling alone. That’s what I try to hold onto when I am fighting with myself to do what I know is right. It’s this knowledge that brings me turn back to God always whenever I stray. Living out faith is hard. It’s contrary to our sinful nature and it takes constant attention and care—something I am going to fail at from time to time. But that’s okay. I’m not going to be angry at myself for falling off the wagon so to speak. I’m only going to be angry at myself if I don’t get right back on.

If you find yourself struggling in your faith, don’t despair. You’re going to fall in life—that’s a given. Just decide now to always turn back to God, let him pick you up and brush you off and you will always land on your feet heading in the right direction.

1 comment:

Audrey said...

What a great analogy Maureen! I agree that sometimes we are directly hit by a storm and sometimes we are hit by the edge of someone else's storm. It took me a long time to realize that I have to prepare for those edges as much as a direct hit. Thanks for sharing your heart with me.