Saturday, August 14, 2004

Water. Can’t live without it … can’t live with it. I’m typing this blog from my living room as I glance over the laptop screen at the weather channel. The awesome force of the wind-blown ocean as hurricane Charlie beat against the Florida coast today is scary! I called a friend of mine this afternoon. She lives in Bradenton, just up the shore from where the monster made landfall. Shannon was in my youth group in Chicago and now is a 37 year old with a masters degree and a family. She laughed as I asked if they had a basement. I guess they don’t dig basements in Florida. Shannon left Chicago and went to college in Tulsa and she settled down there with her husband some years later. They are use to tornados by the dozens. But this is something different all together! She was not too worried. After all, they had a pantry to hide in if they needed to.

Now, maybe I’m odd but I thought a pantry was for storing food. I don’t remember reading about them being hurricane proof. But if Shannon was happy, I was happy.

I received an email from her just a few minutes ago. (By the way, that is a very good sign.) They got to see the eye of the hurricane but she said it never felt like the wind blew over 40 mph. Those Okie’s are tough. All is well for Shannon and her husband. I’m grateful for that. She’s too nice to get blown all the way to Alabama.

Two weeks ago I sat on the end of a pier jutting out into Lake Superior from Madeline Island, Wisconsin. It was 11 at night and the water was calmer than calm. You had to listen closely to hear its mini-waves lap against the wooden pilings holding the pier in place. I watched some ducks swim by and then I look to the north. The sky was aglow. Hmmm. The nearest city was Duluth, Minnesota, about 60 miles to the west. What could possibly be glowing in the north? And then the glow moved. It was nearly imperceptible at first. The movement accelerated and began to change from a ghostly white to fingers of bluish gray. The “northern lights.” They reached from the northern most part of the horizon too directly overhead. I lay on the pier for half an hour, amazed at the wondrous glory of God as his sky danced brilliantly above me.

Sometimes water is calm. Sometimes water is turbulent. Just like life. Seldom do you get to determine which one it will be. Circumstance seems to interrupt our plans and knock us silly. Sickness strikes. The bills cannot be paid. The car breaks down. Without any warning your quiet seas are turned into raging storms. What to do, what to do?

After 49 years of life I only have one answer to that question that works for me. I can give it to you in two words. “Trust God.” You cannot understand life and you cannot understand Him. You cannot predict life and you cannot predict Him. But you can trust Him. He’s been around for a very long time and He has yet to drop one of His kids.

Are you facing a storm tonight? I truly hope not. But if you are, please consider turning to Him and asking Him to guide you through your seas. He’s just waiting. He might not tell the wind to stop blowing but He will certainly keep your personal “boat” afloat. Have you got a better plan? No, I didn't think so...