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Friday, September 30, 2016

You trying to outrun the storm?

And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. (Romans 5:3-4 VOICE)
Would you ever associate getting to know God's goodness and learning to anticipate it in action in your life because you had just walked through some pretty bad stuff? I don't think this would be first thing that would come to mind for most of us as the "means" by which we actually learn to hope and anticipate, but if you really stop to consider it, this makes total sense! We don't develop faith when things are going smoothly - we learn to trust and hope and anticipate when things are kind of rocky!
When we are content, kind of just settled into whatever it is we are at total peace with in our lives, we don't have much "hope" for something to be different. Couples who don't ever argue, who seem to just "get along" all so well, don't really appreciate the value of conflict. While I am not advocating for arguments and friction in relationship here, I do think they are a means by which apathy and indifference begin to be challenged a little. If the wind never blew hard enough to cause the tree to send down roots a little deeper into the soil so it had good anchorage, the tree would be pretty weak when a storm really came!
If this is essential in our relationships here on this earth, don't you think it is quite possible God allows a little "conflict" in our lives from time to time to disturb us enough so that we don't drift into a place of contented apathy in our relationship with him? He wants us to develop hope and trust - in the right things - in the right person. He wants us to see life with his eyes - enlarging our perspective through the stuff we might not have wanted to face in the first place. He challenges our anchorage by sending the storms we didn't really believe we needed in our lives. No one appreciates the full value of the storm while they are in it. They might even be trying to outrun it!
A pretty significant rainstorm rolled through the valley yesterday, and I found myself literally outrunning those rolling clouds, blustery winds, and crazy stuff blowing across the roadways on my journey home. I got in the door just as gigantic raindrops began to spot my driveway. Do you know what? All that "outrunning" of the storm was for naught! Those 100 or so drops that dotted my drive were all I actually saw at my house, while my daughter who lives about 6 miles to the north of us got a good gully-washer for about 15 minutes or so. I outran it - she got the enjoyment of it!
We might think we can outrun what God sends to help us develop endurance, learn to hope in the right stuff, and increase in the trust we place in him. I wonder how much we really outrun that we just plain never get to enjoy in our life all because we don't want to get "caught up in it"?  Just meddlin!