Posted by: kathryngraves | September 28, 2012

Don’t Be a Storm Chaser

“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” Nahum 1:3

Tornadoes ravage Kansas every spring. Our state is mostly rural farmland, so loss of life and structures doesn’t occur every year. Instead, these terrible, beautiful storms provide a form of entertainment for storm chasers.

The Big One. My town was devastated by a tornado a number of years ago. In a sad turn of events, five members of a family were killed because they ran outside to watch the storm instead of running for shelter. That day, hundreds of homes and scores of businesses were completely destroyed.

Aftermath. My husband, as pastor of the largest church in town with the largest parking lot, became the point man for disaster relief. I joined a team to walk through neighborhoods and assess the damage to our members’ homes. I will never forget the stories of survival or the smell of fresh-cut wood mixed with gasoline fumes. Since that time, I no longer view tornadoes as entertainment. To me, they are death machines.

Spiritual Tornadoes. Nahum draws the strong correlation between tornadoes and God’s judgment of sin. What he doesn’t mention is the fascination we have with sin. We know it can result in destruction and even death. We’ve seen those things happen to others around us. But we somehow believe it’ll never happen to us. We’re drawn to sin. We want to watch. Like storm chasers, we want to see how close we can get without harm.

The Lord knows that a close encounter with our own demise is sometimes the only way to pull us back to the safety of His arms. He’s the storm shelter we run to when our lives spin out of control, the basement foundation of our lives. Heed the warning sounded by Nahum. Let’s not stand stupidly out in the open, almost inviting disaster. It will be upon us sooner than we think.

Why? When we suffer, we want to know the reason for it. It’s the question we can’t avoid. These times open us up to introspection and we search for some meaning in our circumstances. All storms in our lives are not caused by sin. But sin does cause a storm every time, sooner or later. We need to be willing to dig deep and pull out any splinters of sin that might be lurking as the cause, directly or indirectly, of our present state. The Bible tells us the Lord works everything out for our good. Even suffering. It brings us to our knees before Him. From there, the only way to go is up.

Lessons in the Aftermath. I don’t know why I got cancer. But as a result, I began to study the disease and its possible causes. I learned that my eating and exercise patterns could very well have caused my body to be susceptible to the disease. I’m changing my ways to try to prevent a recurrence. The treatment I underwent was horrible and I don’t want to go through it again. But God did use it for good. He drew me into a much closer relationship with Him. I learned to trust Him in all things. I learned to focus on “being” more than on “doing.” I became more compassionate. And my body is more healthy now than ever before. I believe God knew it was time to press the “reset” button in order to give me a longer, more productive life.

So, my friend, don’t be afraid to ask why, and let God lead you to the changes He wants you to make. It’s the best storm-prevention strategy.



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