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Posts Tagged ‘Storm’


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The other day, I looked around during one of the many storms that roll across our neck of the woods and realized that our cat was nowhere to be seen. Now, this wouldn’t seem too unusual except that he usually makes sure he is very much near one of his people all the time, which many times literally mean underfoot.

I scanned the house for him, which took all of one minute because we live in a little shoebox of a cottage. Since the house is small, and he is large, I thought I’d be able to see him no problem.

He is an indoor cat, and even though he’d be okay outside, we live near a very busy road, so whenever it happens that I can’t see him I wonder if he’s gotten out. But, this particular time, I knew he hadn’t.

So, I looked around the house again. And, again, he was nowhere to be seen.

Finally I asked my son, “Have you seen George?”

My son looked up from his book at me, then did a quick scan of the house and not seeing his cat anywhere nearby replied, “I don’t know, maybe he’s in his safe spot.”

George’s safe spot. I didn’t even think to look for him there.

So, I went over to my desk and bending down saw that he was under it, lying full-length, which is almost 3-feet tip to tail, where the back of the desk meets the wall. The spot is his favorite place to be when there’s too much rain, wind, thunder or lightning outside because it gives him a lot of shelter but also allows him to stretch out and be comfortable.

After I sat down, I started thinking how each of us needs a safe spot too. For many of us, it’s our home where we feel loved and accepted no matter what, but for some people it’s not home, it’s someplace else where they feel safe. Either way, it seems to be our very nature to seek out and find that place where we feel safe and protected and able to just be comfortable in who we are.

And, that’s what the Lord provides for us in every situation, whether we are in a storm or in the calm. A place with Him where we are loved, cared for and accepted. So much so, that after a while we realize that without Him we can have none of those things in their totality, that it is only with Him that we can experience that safe place that only He can provide because He is truly the only safe spot there is.

“LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.”

Psalm 16:5

 

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Approaching Storm Over the Eastern Sierras

Image by Bill Gracey via Flickr

As with most winter storms, the ones that have crashed through my neighborhood have left everything more than a little messy. Not only tree limbs have come falling to the ground, but whole trees, roots and all, along with utility poles snapped in half like toothpicks, dotted the landscape for days after one of the biggest ones came through. It took PG&E crews days to repair all the damage, even though they were amazing in their efficiency and expediency.

Pretty much everyone is powered up again, but everything outside is still more than a little soggy. A walk through the yard reveals everything that will need to be taken care of in the next few weeks in order to clear things out for new growth, and the approach of spring along with its flowers and color.

But, a funny thing happened to me just the other day when I was sloshing through my back garden. The person who lived here before me laid out a nicely designed granite patio area complete with a stepping stone pathway that winds itself around a rock garden. In the summertime, when everything is dry and cleaned off, it’s a peaceful place to be, but since the rains have come, mud has flowed over the stepping-stones making some of them very difficult to see.

Since I was out there, and it was pretty nice day, I started to clean off some of the stones to get ahead of the inevitable springtime work.

So there I was, crouched down, digging out the waterlogged mud and debris from around the stones that I have become well acquainted with through the years, when I noticed a stone that didn’t look like the rest. In fact, as I dug a little more, I realized it was a stone I had never seen before.

So, of course being curious, I began to focus my attention on it. The other stones were just that, stones that had been cut to a flat surface but rather course and jagged around the edges, but as I dug deeper I saw this one was smooth and round, looking nothing like the others. Then I realized there were letters on it.

After much mucking out and smoothing mud away, I saw that it was one of those highly polished stones that are sold just to decorate gardens and it had the word “bienvenue’ which means ‘welcome’ in French engraved in it. As I cleared each letter away, feeling like an archeologist in my own backyard, I thought of the many times I’ve cleared the area in the three years that I’ve lived here, and not once had an inkling that there was something so polished with such a nice message underneath all that dirt.

It was hidden away until a huge storm provided what was needed to reveal it, to allow it to be dug out so to speak, which is a little like how it is with our lives. None of us like the storms when they come, especially the huge ones that cause a lot of damage and take a while to recover from. But, it’s worth trying to remember in those times when everything is shaking and crashing down around us, that we never know how God is using those storms to reveal something beautiful that He has planted in us that we would never know existed until after the storm has passed.

“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli.”

Isaiah 54:11

 

 

 

 

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Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve which is one of ...

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It looks like  the storms of winter have finally come, bringing with them the rain, the wind and the gray skies that make everything look that much cleaner and brighter during the day.

The fall colors only lasted for a week or two, their leaves of brilliant gold, orange and ruby-red are now littered on the ground  forming a multi-colored carpet on my emerald-green front lawn. In fact, I can hardly see the green there are so many leaves on it.

I love the way not only the color looks in the sparse light offered through the clouds, but the way the rain makes everything contrast more, with the granite rocks in the area flashing first light then dark depending on where you’re standing because of the water drenching they received.

The rains not only give us all a different look at the beauty that surrounds us, but they give us a very real illustration of what can happen if we’re not prepared for a particularly fierce storm that knocks out the power, shuts down our computers and pretty much leaves us stranded from our modern lives for awhile.

Powerful storms show us our vulnerabilities. The things we need to shore up to prevent the water from flooding our basements or the first floors of our homes, or the things we need to tighten down so they won’t blow away when the powerful winds come up and threaten to take our houses away.

The same thing happens in our spiritual lives when a storm comes up. These storms could be anything that threatens to blow us off course, the loss of a loved one who we can’t fathom living without; the loss of a job when we are so tight financially we can’t see how we can cut corners any tighter; or bad news from a doctor just when we thought everything was clear.

The funny thing about storms though, no matter if they’re threatening to tear the roof off your house or flood the first floor of your house, literally or spiritually, is when they are through and everything calms down everything is so much clearer and cleaner when they’re done.

Storms clear things out, they show us where our weaknesses and vulnerabilities are, and they show us that in reality we have no control over what happens when the storm hits, whether we’ve caused it or not.

What storms really show us is that God is in control and in order to survive, and even thrive, when the storms hit, we need to be rooted and grounded in Him as the foundation of our existence.

“It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built.”

Luke 6:48

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