For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)
Beauty in the Storm
Ominous storm clouds gathered on the horizon as the elevation increased. This wasn’t the predicted forecast we heard prior to leaving our house in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, this December morning. If we had known, I probably would have insisted we cancel plans to make a quick trip over the Cascade Mountains to attend my sister’s surprise birthday party.
I tend to choose the path of caution.
Filled with his typical adventurous spirit, Ron insisted we travel on. With the plop of each huge new snowflake, I became increasingly aware of the hazardous road conditions. Ron’s obvious enjoyment of this opportunity to test his new car’s four-wheel drive capabilities annoyed me. Any excitement I’d had about this Saturday excursion evaporated, giving way to concern. Tension mounted. Muscles in my neck tightened as we traveled onward and upward into the storm.
What if Ron is driving too fast for conditions? He should slow down! What if we slide off the road and down the mountainside? Perhaps we should go back home and call my sister this evening with our well wishes instead of running this risk.
“Why don’t you stop what if-ing and should-ing, sit back and focus on the journey rather than your fears,” a still, small voice within suggested. Then, I turned and fixed my eyes to look—truly look—at the magnificent gift of the present.
As we journeyed deeper into the storm, the beauty became more and more exquisite. Anxious thoughts turned into wondrous exclamations.
“Have you ever seen such gigantic snowflakes?”
“These trees look like they’ve been adorned with extravagant amounts of white puff paint!”
Anxiety decreased as wonder and appreciation increased.
“Isn’t God’s gift of creation amazing?”
“Can you believe this beauty? Just think what we would’ve missed if we’d turned back!”
Before long, we reached the mountain pass summit. As we descended, snowflakes softened, becoming delicate, eventually turning into soft raindrops.
Soon we were laughing and hugging my thoroughly surprised sister.
Pondering this trip through the storm, I recognize some parallels in my life. How often have I retreated cautiously when encountering the possibility of a personal storm? In the middle of an uncomfortable situation, do I fret rather than breath deeply, relax and travel on with confidence? How many serendipitous moments have I missed because I turned back rather than pressed on? How many of God’s special gifts have remained unopened because I was what-if-ing or should-ing?
At this stage of my journey, I have no aspirations to become a storm chaser. I will continue to live life practicing prudent caution. The mountain experience, however, kindled a desire to live more fully, approaching life’s storms with greater confidence. I want to use the resources God gives, travel forward and discover exquisite beauty, even during life’s troublesome storms. I want to
press on……savor….and see—truly see—
the hand of God in each new day, the promise even in the problem.
Listening on YOUR Journey…
- What beauty has been revealed to you during one of life’s storms?
- What new perspective did you gain as a result of the revelation?