Weathering the storm

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 24, 2005

How many times have you read a story that started out “It was a dark and stormy night?” That was the first thing I thought of when I watched the morning sky from the drivers seat this morning when I headed out to my office at the church. Somewhere around 6:00 A.M. there was a tremendous storm coming through. The wind was blowing and the rain was pelting against the house so hard and so loud that you could hardly hear yourself think. I had awakened and was going to work at home for a little while before going to work, but the storm had my computer down, disrupting the internet connection, so I decided the best thing was to watch for a break in the rain and hit the road.

I hadn’t gotten far when the storm kicked up again. It was pitch dark. Even the security lights along the way, scattered in one area or the other, seemed dim. It was as if the darkness was overcoming any light around. I was driving about 30 to 35 mph just to be on the safe side. (at least that is the speed that I will say I was going in this article because there is a possibility that my friend Jeff Manuel, the Demopolis Chief of Police might read my article this week.)

Occasionally, lightning would flash across the sky, illuminating the clouds. Some were dark and others were somewhat lighter. I was watching the road, but every time the lightning flashed, it drew my eyes to the sky. There, in that brief second of light, you could see the clouds moving, sometimes swirling and then it changed back to total darkness. I was interested to see what it would all look like when daylight came, but it would be a while yet. FLASH! The lightning hit again, and again. Each time movement and activity that could not be seen through the darkness was revealed. It was then and there that it hit me. I saw the sign. I saw the message. I understood the story.

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There was activity all around me but I was not able to see it. I thought about how God works. His activity is always around us, but we cannot always see it. From time to time, in a brief moment of illumination, He reveals His presence. A glimpse here and a glimpse there; he shows us just enough to keep us from being frightened. And, to tell you the truth, it is frightening when God moves. In order for God to change one thing in our lives, He has to make universal changes among men. It is an awesome thought and it could be terrifying if we had to sit and watch all that He did to accomplish His momentary purpose. So, He is kind and only gives us a glimpse here and there of His activity.

But, as with the storm, whether you see it or not, it is brewing and active. You see the rain and feel the wind, even if you cannot see the clouds moving rapidly above. You know there is more to what’s around you than you can see, but you are only allowed to deal with what you are experiencing at the moment.

God is a God of activity. He is constantly moving and working in the lives of men, moving and shaping us in accordance to His will and good pleasure. Because we do not always see it, we often think we have been left out of His moving. We pray for things and do not see instant results and conclude that God is not moving on the request.

Occasionally, God will light up the sky in the darkness of our lives and allow us, for a brief second or so, to see a little movement. If we are wise, we will see and know that there is much more activity than we can even imagine.

We should pray, as in the Old Testament when one of the great prophets faced a group of young prophets who had concluded that God had forsaken them, “Lord, open their eyes that they might see.” When their eyes were opened, they saw chariots of fire, a gigantic war machine fighting in another realm, hidden from sight except for that brief moment. God, in this moment of revelation, let the world know that His activity was going on whether they saw and understood it or not. God is there. He is alive and He will never cease to work on our behalf.

So, the next time you think your life is placid and bland, wait for the next storm and watch through the darkness. God will show you His activity. Watch it closely and know that if He can do that in the darkness of a storm in the night, He can certainly do it in the darkness of the storms of our lives. God loves us and never ceases to work among us… whether we see it or not.

God Bless and GOOOOO DAWGS!

Marshall Murphy – Pastor, First Christian Church of Demop