I'm sitting on that red, vintage, metal chair on the front porch Saturday afternoon, the day after terrific storms relayed across our city, as if one tornado was tag teaming the next. But as I sit on my front porch, in the memory of that storm, the weather is perfection - absolutely gorgeous. Everything is green, vivid green, a chorus of birds singing, chit chatting, and celebrating the new found bounty of worms that were unearthed by the deluge and now filling their stomachs. A gentle breeze whispers and plays with the pages of my Bible as I read. Somehow, I think this choir is offering praise to a God of provision.
There is so much peace and beauty today. As I look around, I am reminded that sometimes the storms must come. The land and the atmosphere seem nourished and alive. I can almost hear nature crying out the glory of the Lord. I remember the cries of Oklahomans for rain to end the severe drought, and he has answered. We mustn't forget to praise him for that.
I think of the pain and struggle that takes place during birth and the precious life that comes through it all. I feel that way today. Yes, the storms must come on earth and in life. Storms refresh the earth, raising new soil and bringing forth new life. The waters cleanse the atmosphere and nourish the air we breathe. There is beauty after a storm, not just because the storm has passed, but because it provides. It's true in life as it is in nature; storms change the landscape of the earth, and turbulence in our soul changes the landscape of our hearts.
(I took this photo Saturday, the glorious morning after the storm. Life saturated by the storm waters.)
Only a great God can bring new life from what once looked utterly hopeless.
"Let us lay hold of sorrow. Let us not be afraid of it, for when grasped firmly, like the nettle, it never stings. The life that has not known and accepted sorrow is strangely crude and untaught. It can neither help nor teach, for it has never learned. The life that has spurned the lesson of sorrow, or failed to read it aright, is cold and hard; but the life that has been disciplined by sorrow is courageous, and full of holy and gentle love. Without sorrow life glares. It has no half-tones nor merciful shadows. Disappointment, in life, is inevitable. Pain is the common lot of humanity. Sharp sorrow, at one time or another, will com to each of us, if indeed it has not already come. But this same sorrow is a gentle teacher, and reveals many things that would otherwise be hard to understand . . . Every day of meeting sorrow superbly makes the life more grand. Every tear that falls from one's own eyes gives a deeper tenderness of look, of touch, of word, that shall soothe another's woe. Sorrow is not given to us alone that we may mourn. It is given us, that having felt, suffered, wept, we may be able to understand, love, bless.
~ Anna Robertson Brown
Only a great God can bring forth joy and provision through sorrow and loss.