After the storm
when all you see
is the aftermath
I hope you take
a deep breath
a little closer …
I hope you
open your eyes
to the living,
of every broken thing.
I hope you
look for the Light –
it’s always there
like an invitation,
a portal …
where will it lead you
I hope you discover
a deeper wisdom,
the Divine –
I hope you can see
the glistening threads of grace
that have been holding
your world together
through it all –
I hope you remember
the One who weaves
across two worlds,
so you can be seamlessly
with the heavens,
while shining on earth like a star.
After the storm,
I hope you
of who’s child
you truly are.
Earlier this week in the mist of the COVID pandemic, I sanitized and carefully arranged my lawn furniture to host a socially distanced prayer group around my firepit.
It was lovely to see my rosary friends and their kids in person after being away from them for so long.
About one hour after they all left, hurricane-level winds came and leveled my yard.
I was shocked! We live in Iowa and had never had a derecho like this – I had never even heard of a derecho before. My kids and I watched in awe as mature trees fell to the ground and our grill blew across our deck before our very eyes. The furniture I’d so carefully arranged flew across our yard into the landscaping.
From our window, I could see that a massive tree branch had literally fallen over that exact spot where we’d just finished praying.
“Hmm” I thought with irony. “Isn’t that the way life goes?”
Often from the time we are children, we are conditioned into a reward system of life. Do good, and you’ll get a reward. In the real world, this is not exactly the case.
So often as we embark upon a journey of deeper faith and prayer, life’s storms happen anyway. So why pray when challenges can still arise? Especially challenges that are far more life-shattering than the storm damage we experienced here in Iowa?
1 Peter 4: 12-13
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory.”
When I went to look closer at the tree over our firepit, I noticed it actually hadn’t fallen into the circle where we’d prayed – in fact, that circle was left completely untouched and was now encircled in a beautiful little protective hedge by the branches of the fallen tree. The poet in me was inspired by the symbolism, which is why I wrote this post.
In our humanity at our first glance after the storms of life, we see and experience the aftermath of destruction – that’s reality. But if we have eyes to see from a spiritual perspective, when we take a deep breath and look closer at life’s challenges, we’ll always see the spirit of God rising up from the ashes with His great love, strength and power healing, creating and providing for us in the most important soul-nourishing ways because He is ALWAYS there for us, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
Even if the firepit where we prayed really had been crushed, we would still have the strength, inner peace, resilience, wisdom, perspective, joy, love, faith and hope that come from a life built on the strong foundation of faith.
As I write this, we’ve been out of power for about 72 hours! This is a world record for my life. It’s been an uncomfortable and hot week without air conditioning and with a lot of extra chores. But God has been with me, just like God is with YOU through all of the unexpected storms of your life! I pray you can keep the faith and feel the presence of His love through each and every challenge you face.
1 Corinthians 13:
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
What storms are you experiencing in your life right now? Have you been able to notice God’s loving presence with you through them? Could you use a little hlep seeing things from a spiritual perspective? Comment below, and I’ll be delighted to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Lord, bless us with a deep and abiding faith strong enough to keep us anchored to you through the storms of our lives. Strengthen us by the power of Your grace, and fill us with Your love through everything we go through here on earth. Help us to cultivate a deeply spiritual perspective, so we can bring more of Your Light into the darkness of our world. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.
written by Nicky Gant for http://www.uniteinprayer.org 8/14/2020