My thoughts on what lies beyond and after a storm’s impact on our lives.
It doesn’t make sense, really.
Here we are, as I write this, waiting on the inevitable impact of Hurricane Irma. For a week, we have seen images of waves crashing through the streets of several Caribbean islands, landscapes full of destroyed homes and businesses, and declaration after declaration about the strength and record-breaking size of this weather system. To the people of South Florida, who experienced this type of massive threat 25 years ago, the imminent danger is both heart-achingly familiar, and fearfully unpredictable. Now, consider the stormy,emotional atmosphere of social media,with its fake news reports about walkie – talkie apps and non-existent government programs, angry commenters (who likely have never dealt with this type of natural disaster) who throw accusations of lunacy at those who did not evacuate, and the constant fearful posts full of opinions about what will or won’t happen, and you have the makings of an unprecedented amount of mass panic.
All this, and at the time of this post, the storm is still to reach the United States.
I’m certainly not immune to the general sense of unease permeating this situation. For a few days, I fretted over resources I thought we needed, especially when we noticed looming financial shortfalls as events were cancelled. However, at the same time that we’ve been inundated with hurricane preparation this week, I celebrated the first anniversary of the release of my book. I also had some wonderful opportunities to talk and share for the God and Gigs project with several influential artists. A very mixed set of emotions, indeed. It felt strange to celebrate the past, much less think about the future, when our present situation seemed so dire.
After reading the next paragraph, you may feel the need to leave an angry comment or two yourself. I’d understand.
Due to the threat of days or weeks without power or accessible roads, it was my determination that we should stack up all the finances we could in advance of the storm. However, there was another voice, one that I’m familiar with, echoing something else in my spirit. Something about investing in the future. Specifically, ordering things for my business, just when we need money for things like gas and emergency supplies.
The thought made me want to slap some sense into myself. How could I think of taking resources and putting them toward future goals, when so much of our present was in jeopardy?
But it wasn’t a fluke, or a momentary thought. I recognized it as the voice of faith, rising up to pull me away from the thoughts of fear and worry. Something about knowing that while this storm is temporary, what God has placed in me is not. The legacy I’m building will last longer than the waves and the winds of a Category 5 storm. No matter how powerful the storm is, its time is limited. The power of my dreams will outlast it.
So, with the agreement of my wife, I planted that small but significant seed into our next project, even as the storm brewed on the horizon.
Sowing in the shadow of a storm is not a cute catch-phrase for me. It is the definition of how I intend to live my life. The circumstances surrounding me will not deter me from taking the actions that will define me. Irma has simply given me an opportunity to walk that out.
My prayer is that God will not only protect our physical lives during this situation, but also that he will place a protective barrier around our spiritual vision as well. I pray we never let our eyes be dimmed by the view of crashing waves and fierce winds, obscuring the better tomorrow that we know can and does exist. Whatever your dream is, find a way, whether literally or mentally, to sow into it in the shadow of the storm. You will find that the strength of the storm is nothing compared to the power of your faith.
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