, , , , , ,

I am looking at my phone at the 7 day forecast.  the 100’s are back – *sigh*.  How sweet it has been to have cooler temperatures this past week – to be able to throw the windows open and turn the air conditioner off. But apparently summer thought it needed one last hurrah…so back it came for an encore.

This summer has been overwhelming to me.  We have had record after record broken when it comes to heat, the amount of heat, the intensity of heat and the longevity of the heat.  What is amazing to me is those who have competitive spirits are actually bemoaning the fact that we missed a record or two.  To those people I say – SHUT.UP!!  Our farmers are in NEED, people & animals are dying, and water levels are at record lows all over the state – get over it – move on – go cry somewhere else.

*ahem*….I digress.

As I was saying – in looking at the 7 day forecast – what  I also see are storms.  Now those who know me – know I love a good storm.  One of my childhood stories relays that in the midst of a horrible Texas thunderstorm with booming thunder and vicious strikes of lighting all around, the electricity went out casting our home in darkness – I was 4.  My mom, quickly starting making her way to my room calling out words of comfort to me thinking that I would be huddled and afraid.  I responded, “What’s wrong, Mama?”  That storm did not bother me at all.  I also have memory of believing that lighting was just a flash on God’s giant camera and that He was taking pictures of the earth – I have NO idea where that thought came from – from the minds of children.  In later years, I comforted friends who were frightened of storms, and eventually even became a storm chaser when I worked for a television station during university.   I love a good storm!

However, the past couple of weeks as I watched “Irene” make landfall, and the season of fall try so desperately to push Summer out-of-the-way – I found myself thinking about change and how often change comes with storms.  It for sure happens in nature – for every cold or warm front that tries to push in and change the current weather conditions we see storms.  They may be thunderstorms, rain storms, or devastating storms such as a tornado or hurricane; regardless of the severity, we see them.

I was recently at a Women of Faith conference and heard Patsy Clairemont speak.  Of everything else that was said that weekend one of the things that continues to come back and force its way into my thinking was a talk she gave on change.  That change can be good.  However, almost the same breath she expressed that it very often doesn’t look like what you want.

The changing of seasons of our lives also come with storms.  Sometimes just light rain, or some noisy thunder, but sometimes change brings on a violent storm that leaves us broken, shattered, our foundations shifted or cracked and our faith on the brink of destruction.  Maybe it is a wound that has cut so deeply into the soul that you wonder how a loving God could have ever let that happen – faith shaken. Or a loss so monumental – a friend, a loved one – that you even as you read this you the memory causes you to take an inward glance and see the cracks in the walls of your faith that happened due to the shift of the foundation of your belief system. It could be a dream – one you held so dearly for so many years and in the end the disillusionment of the failed fulfillment of said dream left you broken into pieces that seem irreparable.

So where does that leave us?  Broken, shattered, in disrepair….perhaps even longing for the season that has just passed (even if we didn’t like it either)….anything to bring us out of these storms.

One of my favorite phrases in the Bible is “But God, in His appointed time….”  Just saying it out loud calms the raging storms most days.   HIS appointed time – not mine.  Nothing that happens in my life happens without passing through His hands first.  Not a raindrop, a flash of lightning, or furious deluge of a storm can get to me without God allowing it.  What promise that holds. In Isaiah 42:16 the scriptures tell us “In paths they do not know, I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains.  There are things I will do and I will not leave them undone.”

Do you see the future tense in this verse?  There is more…there is a beautiful season beyond this set of storms.  The Lord is bringing a respite of coolness to the heat of the summer…we just have to endure through the storm.  To keep our eyes focused on the Cross and all of the promises it holds.   If you are breathing you still have a purpose, which means there is more to come, and the best God has for you is yet to come.

This summer is going to end.  And while the heat was a constant battle for me there were some very beautiful moments.  Waking up to an early morning sunrise shining into my eastern facing window, spending time with friends beside the grill, the joy of 6 new and precious lives coming into the world during the month of June, baseball, hot dogs, sweet family time as we came together to celebrate my Grandfather’s 80th year of life, lessons learned that were hard and forever changed parts of me.  This season has been good.

Change is coming – with that change will come stormy days and probably a few stormy nights.  But change is good.  It introduces new seasons, new hope, new joy, new blessings and promises just waiting to be claimed.  When the storms pass we’ll still be standing, we’ll see that God has been right there beside us even when we did not see Him…He will heal the wounds if we allow Him, He’ll make the foundation stronger, He will pick up the shattered pieces and create something so beautiful out of the brokenness that would not have been had we not been broken in the first place.  So as the change of season begins to roll in and the storms of life begin to build on the horizon – whether they be a light rain storm or a massive hurricane I will say with the writer of Hebrews “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (10:23)”

Bring on the change.