It’s hard to believe that it was nearly thirty years ago. I had finished preaching at my two churches, and was stretched out on the couch enjoying a nap. My then-pregnant wife, was also napping, and my two-year-old son, was in his room.
Did I mention I was enjoying my nap? Well, I was, until I began to hear the sound of a Spring storm blowing our way. First, there was lots of wind. Then, some thunder. I managed to change positions on the couch and fall back asleep. Until. Until I heard the sound of breaking glass, and I felt a blast of wind blowing over me.
While I was enjoying my nap, my son was fearing the coming storm. He hated the wind back then, and he hates it to this day. The sound of the breaking glass? That was one of Angela’s jar candles. Our son had grown fearful of the wind. With both parents preoccupied, he determined that if he threw the jar candle at the wind, the wind would stop blowing. That explains the crashing of glass. The wind I felt? Our son had left the door open while he went to silence the storm.
Toddlers don’t understand the forces of nature. They believe that somehow, someone can control those forces. Part of maturing is realizing that we can’t stop the storms. All we can do is ride them out. And we can pray. Realizing that we are not alone in the storm helps us to get through the storms. When the storms come, I am often reminded of the picture painted for us in the Gospels: the disciples were furiously fighting to save their boat and their lives, and Jesus was asleep in that same boat. The Lord of creation slept through the storm. Somehow, I find comfort in that.
Forces beyond our control. We have seen them at work. A virus we fight and fear. Economic forces that erode our confidence in tomorrow. Political forces that remind us of how divided we are as a people. Even spiritual forces. Forces that cause us to question the very foundations of our faith.
Forces. They buffet, they blow us away. Forces. They cause us to fear. Forces. They make us question “what’s the use?” Forces greater than ourselves often leave us devastated.
Forces. They won on Friday. The Son of God was placed in a tomb. Forces. A force greater than any could have imagined intervened. The Tomb was emptied on Sunday. Death was given a death sentence. A new force changed everything. The God who slept through the storm now called His Son to step out into a new, glorious day.
See you soon. What we do here matters.
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Dale has been in ministry for over forty years. He's a teacher, singer, and story teller.