The Weather

     It matters not where we are one subject of conversation is always going to be the weather. Everywhere we’ve lived there has been a special kind of weather associated with the area. I grew up in Virginia and North Carolina during a time when it seemed hurricanes showed up regularly. My most vivid elementary school memory is seeing my bus (Number 5) being blown across the school yard. Thankfully no one was in it at the time and the teachers ran us all back in the building. I remember thinking, “Well, how am I going to get home now?”

     I suppose just about everybody has some weather story to tell. Around here the weather is generally pretty good until the tornados show up. Some places have tremendous heat, regular flooding, destructive snow and ice and every other imaginable phenomenon. Then there are the non-weather related natural disasters: earthquakes, landslides, drought, and other such things. Our school general science classes gave us insight (if I could remember) as to what causes these things, but we know that the bottom line is that the planet is a big interactive system and we don’t expect continual peace and quiet from the physical world.

     A question that comes up and is often directed to people of faith is this: “If God is a good God, why does He let these things happen?” Peter told us to be ready to give an answer for our hope (1 Peter 3:15). Earlier in that letter Peter helps us understand why this world is the way it is: We are strangers and pilgrims (2:11). As with Abraham, this place is where we sojourn for our time, but it is not our final home. We look for a better country, our home in Heaven. Paul spoke of our citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20). We are here for a little while and we make the best of it, but our forever home is with God.

     So, still, why the storms? Well, life here is most of the time very lovely. It’s fun and pleasant most of the time. We have the people and places and things that we come to enjoy. Life is good. But the storms remind us that it is not always easy, pleasant or peaceful. Sometimes life is tough and the tough parts help us see that there has to be something more to us than these few years on this earth. That “something more” is the spiritual, more meaningful side of life.

     Storms make us remember that we need more than these few moments of good life. God uses the ups and downs of life to help us realize our need for Him. So, why storms? They remind us that we need God.