“I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry, You raised me up again.” -Casting Crowns
A tornado usually only touches down in its windy fury for a couple of minutes. Each individual storm takes on its own shape, its own color and its own strength. If a tornado strikes down in the open plains of the Midwest, you can outrun it by driving at least 70 mph or hunkering down in your basement thanks to scouts calling in to sound the sirens to warn the public in time. But if you live in a densely forested area of the country, often times you won’t even see the tornado coming until it’s already too late. With their violent winds, tornadoes pick up buildings, flip over cars, and have the potential to devastate everything it its path.
When the winds cease and the blue sky once again appears, people look around to see what was lost. It might be their home, their school, or the lives of those they love. After a storm, people are left to pick up the pieces and begin again.
Life can be a lot like a tornado.
Sometimes you can see a problem intersecting the path you are on and do nothing more but bunker down and wait for it to pass over you. Then you look around, see what was lost and begin to pick up the pieces. Maybe this came in the form of your company downsizing and you had a month before your once secure job with benefits was lost. You endured 17 months of brutal unemployment where you lost your life savings and your home. Once you finally found a job to provide, you finally had a moment to take a breath and realize how much you had been through.
Sometimes you don’t even see the problem coming. Maybe everything was going great in your life until you got that phone call about your relative taking a turn for the worse and ended up losing them when there was so much more life to live. Completely blind-sided, you begin to realize you have to move on with a life continually in motion and look back at your untimely good-bye and feel like you will never get out of the fog of devastating loss.
The interesting thing is that there are so many different kinds of tornadoes. There are big storms and small storms. Just like in our own lives. But there are only three kinds of people.
One type will go through the storm, access the damage and crumble in its own mess. They will see none of the blue sky because they are too busy looking at the wreckage. They stay in a state of shock and disbelief so much so that others have to carry them out of it and they are never the same.
The other type will go through the storm, access the damage and rise through the rubble. They will look at the blue sky beginning to appear and thank God they made it through. They will make it their mission to rebuild what was lost. Not only will they re-build, but they will construct something that is stronger than before to withstand the next storm because they know there will be another.
The last type of person won’t care if they were able to see the storm coming or not. Whether there was forewarning or none at all, it really doesn’t factor into the reaction they choose. No matter the strength, no matter the amount of time it takes for the storm to pass, this person simply bunkers down in the storm and knows they are there for however long for a reason.
Which kind of person are you? Are you in the middle of a tornado and can’t see a thing? Did a tornado in your life just pass over you and you are challenged with the choice of which person you ought to be? Or are you in the middle of the wind and content, knowing it will pass?
The God of the Universe, the Maker of the heavens and the earth is with you.
“And I’ll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands
For You are who You are no matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand
You never left my side and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm.” -Casting Crowns