I've always liked thunderstorms.

I have no idea why, really.

I especially like watching a storm blowing in across our field. I sit on the porch in anticipation, with the sun slowly receding behind darkening clouds and the breeze cooling off, and listen to the low rumbles of thunder in the distance. The rain crescendos with the thunder, and eventually I retreat to the indoors to avoid being soaked.

But then there are thunderstorms that come unexpectedly. Last night I fell asleep to the peaceful pattering of rain and then sometime later woke up with a start to loud crashes of thunder, deluging rain blowing against my window, and lightning. The storm slowly faded, and I drifted back to sleep. This morning dawned cloudy and grey. And, yet, there was a certain peacefulness and calm in the cloudy early morning stillness.

Somehow this reminded me of life.

Sometimes storms come into our lives, storms we can anticipate. Sometimes storms take us by surprise. Through those storms God -- a firm foundation, the solid ground -- carries us. Though our lives may be different after the storm then they were before, the dark clouds and thunder eventually move on. Still, most times, no matter how "small" the storm, we do not "snap out" out of the difficulties or sadness or suffering. The morning dawns cloudy and grey. Yet, there is a certain peacefulness and calm in the cloudy early morning stillness . . . a quietness through which God whispers His continual presence, His always goodness. There are so many factors and individual differences that affect how we readjust to life after a storm, whether big or small. But, for believers, there is the knowledge that God is in control, and that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Rom. 8:28). No matter how difficult the situation, how painful the loss of a loved one, how unexpected the circumstance, it is never because God has turned His back or left us alone. Though the morning may dawn grey and cloudy, the Sun is never nonexistent: He shines through the clouds in our lives.

And, in time, grey clouds give way to bright blue sky.

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