Storm Watchers

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 2:01 PM

The other night I was eating dinner and looked up at the television in the restaurant and saw a report about several serious tornadoes in the Midwest. All throughout the report they showed damaged and mostly destroyed homes. As I watched the report something hit me about how cold most of us have become to such reports. We see something new every day and after a while we start to grow cold them, it is only natural.

Then a thought crossed my mind, it took me back a few days earlier. The family and I had been watching a documentary about a tornado that had devastated the Okalahoma City area several years ago. The documentary provided the viewer with several different angles. We saw the storm from the viewpoint of tornado chasers, weather men, and then from those who were victims of what most called a monster tornado.

This tornado had ripped through the middle portion of Oklahoma and destroyed everything in its path. As the tornado formed and grew, the documentary showed the weathermen working frantically to warn the people in its path to get out of its way. It showed them watching the radar and viewing the video. You could feel the emotion as these weather heroes worked to help save peoples lives. They had an interest in what was transpiring because they held the public trust not to mention the fact that their very own families and friends were in harms way. People they loved were counting on them.

From time to time the cameras would work their way back to the storm chasers. These men instead of trying to get out of the way of the storm were trying to chase it down. This was their job; it was what they did for a living. For them it was just another storm. They soon found this storm to be a bit more as they ran just behind the storm. As they would travel from town to town chasing the tornado they would find the total destruction left behind. At the end of the show they showed these seasoned storm chasers visibly shaken as they saw the effects of the storm instead of just the storm itself. As I think about it they probably never saw a storm the same way again.

After the video of the storm roaring through Oklahoma they showed individual homes or what was left of them. You would see people running outside their homes looking for loved ones; others hugging one another thankful that they were alive. There were people crying or just standing in shock in front of what used to be their homes. Homes they had worked for, worked on, lived in, and made memories at. Homes that were there just minutes earlier but now were gone. You could see the shock in their face; the emotion was not of that of a distant bystander but of someone who was in the midst of great stress and heartache.

This documentary showed me more than a great storm and the levels of emotions involved, but more importantly it helped me understand some of the reasons why God sends storms our way.

We watch daily as storms of heartache, disappointment and despair race across the lives of friends and family. When they never touch us, we look as I did at the television in the restaurant, detached.

For a storm to do the most good it must be personal. A personal storm is real; it gives real pain and real heartache. It is not a distant occurrences happening to someone on TV, its happening to you. That makes all the difference.

What good you might ask does a storm do? For one thing it humbles us and brings us to our knees. We learn that we are not so good or important or untouchable as we thought we were. In our weakness we find the true strength in life, God.

Storms help us understand and then to minister to others who are going through like difficulties. Do you think for one minute someone who had been in the Oklahoma tornado watching the evening news today could watch the reports and not remember the day the storm struck their lives?

They had empathy; storms help us to relate, to understand. Storms help us to cry with one another, to reach out in love. You never really understand until you have walked a mile in someone’s shoes.

Storms last only for a season, their effects last a lifetime. After you experience one you never see the storm the same way again, that is a good thing and a God thing.

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, honestly we do not enjoy the storms but we acknowledge that you have complete control of our life and that you are a right and just God knowing what is best for us. Thus we ask that you give us strength to see your hand in all things and patience to lean on you as our help. You are a good God who knows best and so we trust you and we ask these things in Christ name, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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