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Looking Forward to Life's Storms



Do you look forward to life’s storms, the times when the dark clouds of personal problems move in, tragedy strikes like lightening, or a deluge of worries rain on your parade?
I was sitting on a Lake Erie beach recently when a stranger walked past and commented on how it was time for a storm to come and replenish the beach with sea glass. A few days later, I read a Facebook post suggesting some storms come to disrupt life, and some come to clear a path.
Both incidents made me wonder if we should look forward to life’s storms as opportunities to find and forge new paths in our life to help the Lord’s broken people.


Broken Pieces of Humanity Brought Ashore


I thought about how sea glass collectors and amateurs create new stories for the broken pieces of sea glass, using them to create chandeliers, mirrors, pictures and frames, sculptures, and even greeting cards.
All the new creations made from broken bottles, jars, and glassware were made possible because people like you and me took the time to stop, sift through the sand and rocks brought in by stormy waters, and pick up the glass.
It’s easy to be wrapped up in our own storms, worrying and attending to our own problems, that we pass over the broken pieces of humanity that surround us like broken pieces of sea glass on a beach.
It would have been perfectly understandable if the traveler we call the Good Samaritan had breezed on by the injured man alongside the road. He had places to go and things to do. Given the social and political issues of the times, he had his own to worry about. But he stopped, had compassion on the man, bound his wounds, administered oil and wine, and took him to an inn. He even provided for the innkeeper’s care of the man when he left.
The Samaritan stopped and picked up a broken piece of humanity passed over by others, and helped create a new story for a broken soul. He probably would have been a great sea glass collector.
How about you? Do you look at the storms that move into your life as reasons to batten down the hatches and wait until the storms pass? Or do you venture out, making yourself vulnerable and available to help others caught in their storms, washed up on the beach like broken sea glass, waiting to be picked up and restored before the waves pull them back into the depths?


In God’s Words


“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11)

“What should we do then?’ the crowd asked. John answered, ‘Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.’” (Luke 3:10-11)

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." (Isaiah 43:2)


In the Words of Others


“There is always a storm. There is always rain. Some experience it. Some live through it. And others are made from it.” Shannon L. Alder

“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides, and in its depths, it has its pearls too.” Vincent Van Gogh

“Sometimes the greatest storms bring out the greatest beauty… Life can be a storm, but your hope is a rainbow and your friends and family are the gold.” Steve Maraboli


In Your Words


What do you think about the idea of looking forward to life’s storms as opportunities to venture beyond your worries to help others? Do you think this is counter intuitive? If yes, why?

Describe a time when you had an opportunity to help someone who suffered a loss, was very sick, or fighting an addiction. What did you do?

Are you aware of a person who was buffeted, broken and discolored by life, and who survived and flourished with the help of others? If so, reflect on his or her story.

Meditate on the story of the Good Samaritan and search the scriptures for another example of a man or a woman who unexpectedly took the time and made the effort to help someone in distress.


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