By Lynn Jones
A man who had a perpetually sour disposition, could find something to criticize about every situation. One sunny day, a friend was approaching the man on the sidewalk and was thinking to himself, “He won’t be able to criticize a day this beautiful.” As he met the critic, he said, “Isn’t this a beautiful day?” The man growled, “Yeah, but it’s raining somewhere.”
I thought about that man when I listened to a weather person during “Severe Storm Awareness Week”. The weather expert observed that at any given time in our world, there are about 2,000 thunderstorms in progress. There never is a time when the world is free of storms.
Some of these storms occur where we are living. Within the last year, our own state has been wracked by many severe storms. These storms have sometimes brought injuries and death, and they have always brought stress.
I have read that those who design big bridges must account for three different kinds of loads, or stresses. These loads are the dead load, the live load, and the wind load. The dead load is the weight of the bridge itself. The live load is the weight of the daily traffic that the bridge must carry, and the wind load is the pressure of the winds that blow against the bridge. The engineers who design the bridge must design it to bear all these loads.
Life also brings these types of loads or stresses. The dead load is our load of worry, fear, etc. The live load is the load we face in carrying out our daily routines, and the wind load is the pressure we face in crises. Only God can give us the grace and power that we need for all the loads of life.
The last type of load, the wind load, comes during the time of the storm. The late evangelist Angel Martinez was a master of the use of dramatic imagery in his sermons. He once warned that life is not always sunshine and blessings. Not everything will go our way. He offered this challenge: “Sometimes in life the shadows deepen, and the clouds begin to gather. The thunder begins to vibrate like a thousand chariots rolling on the floors in heaven, and the lightning begins to flash like a soldier brandishing a silver blade in the moonlight. Then the storm descends. If then, you can look up through your tears and say, ‘The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!’ then the world will say, ‘There must be something in Christianity to give us strength for the storms of life.’”
At any given moment in life, you are either in a storm, getting out of a storm, or heading toward a storm. May God give you the grace to triumph over all the storms in your life!
Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at: email@example.com.