As I write this, the weather outside is beautiful and sunny.
It’s been that way most of the week, actually.
One thing I have discovered almost any time there is harsh weather forecasted — the days leading up to it will be some of the most lovely one could imagine.
And even more interesting, the next day or days following a horrific weather event, will be even more splendid. Almost as if the hurricane or tornado never happened.
Except we know it did.
I have been fortunate in that I have not experienced some of the devastation that others have during a time like this.
Years ago, while living in upstate New York, I remember North Carolina being in the pathway of a hurricane and when local media discovered that I had family down here, came to my house to interview me. They filmed me talking on the phone with my sister about what was going on in Wilmington, and I will never forget what occurred to me during that conversation.
She spoke about how they were hunkered down and coping at that moment, which was reassuring and made a good sound bite for the evening news.
The camera panned to me, initially relieved as I hung up the phone after learning my family was alright.
“But then you don’t know,” I said, reminded of how life can turn on a dime and in the next moment everything you think you know can change.
That is not only a word picture for hurricanes but a microcosm of life.
Every morning when we rise, we have no idea what will happen in the course of 24 hours, good or bad.
We must navigate the best we can, much like a pop quiz we are ill-prepared to take.
I often think of a story the late Pastor Bill Wilson shared during a sermon.
He was talking about the passage in the Bible where Jesus fell asleep in the boat while His disciples were fishing, and a huge storm came upon them.
Jesus, meanwhile, continued to sleep, oblivious to it all.
The disciples started freaking out.
Yeah, you won’t find that in any translation of the Bible. We’re doing the Phyllis version.
The disciples were freaking out, getting all up in Jesus’ face, saying, “How can you sleep through all this?!”
OK, so maybe I went a little rogue there. Basically, they woke Him up, asking Him to save them from drowning.
He, in turn, said something about their lack of faith before calming the waves and the wind.
Here’s the beauty of it, though, the point which has stayed with me forever.
Pastor Bill pointed out a wonderful truth that I try to apply in so many areas.
It’s the reason Jesus was able to sleep and remain so calm in the midst of everything going on around Him.
“Jesus was in the storm but the storm wasn’t in Him,” Wilson said.
Think about that. Now apply it.
We can hear all the weather reports in the world, doubled up by video and inward fears and social media reminding us of the worst of the worst things going on.
And don’t get me wrong — it is scary.
But whether it’s a hurricane or a loved one in the hospital or a diagnosis, how cool would it be if we learned the fine art of staying calm and not letting the storm in.
Realize how little control we have, how much control God has, and whether we understand why things happen or not, seek that peace that passes all understanding and try to dwell there.
My prayer today is that you and your loved ones are all safe and sound and that despite having had to be in a storm, the storm did not get into you.