A VICIOUS STORM

a viscious storm

THE TREE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

A vicious storm ripped through our neighborhood earlier this week. It blew roof tiles off the house, ripped apart an umbrella that was closed, and turned tables and chairs over in the backyard.

As if that weren’t enough, it tore down shrubs and trees, blew water under the front door and crowned it’s show of strength with a lightning strike to the neighbors tree directly across the street.

Our neighbors had the half of the tree that got blown off by the lightning cut up and hauled off the same day as the storm. I was impressed. I was less impressed with my timeliness responding to the clean up effort.

It’s been a busy week. I have plenty of excuses. They all sound pretty good, but I’m having a hard time convincing myself that any of them have merit.

It dawned on me as I looked at the mess day after day this week while putting off the inevitable, that this was a good example not only of our physical world, but also our spiritual one as well.

How many times in life does a storm pass through and leave a disaster in our hearts and lives?

Most of the time in life I’ll have the same response spiritually as I have this week physically. I’ll live with the mess in my spiritual life. I’ll step over debris, or kick it out of the way. Just enough so that I can still function without tripping over the mess.

To start the clean up process in either scenario, whether within or without takes one very important ingredient… Action.

I’ve also found in life that in either case procrastination usually makes things worse, and the clean up process more difficult.

I finally got around to cleaning up the backyard yesterday. It didn’t take too long, but soon after I started the regret of procrastination was again a reality. If I had cleaned up the same day of the storm like my neighbors did, I wouldn’t be burning my hands on hot metal furniture.

The shredded umbrella canvas wrapped around the bottom of its stand had become the new home of a few ants and spiders. It had also become a new target for our dog Larry to mark as “his territory”.

“Sure wish I’d cleaned this up sooner,” I said to myself out loud. I knew Larry was listening and I was hoping he felt bad. He probably did, but he just can’t help himself. I’m glad he couldn’t answer, the last thing I wanted to hear from him was, “You should have cleaned it up sooner.”

I hope I learn a lesson from this incident, I need to be a man of action in my physical life, but more importantly in my spiritual life.

In fact, I think I’ll start getting ready for the next storm in life today. I’ll batten down the hatches and secure all things inside and out.

I’ll seek God through His Word in study and in prayer.

This won’t stop the next storm, the storms in life are inevitable, but being prepared spiritually assures the weathering of them.

When the next storm blows through leaving some spiritual damage, I think I’ll try to get my spiritual house in order that same day.

Putting off the clean up process only makes matters worse.

Maybe I should get some gloves too…

10 Comments

  1. June
    Sunday, April 15, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

    God is still teaching us in parables, isn’t He, Floyd. I hope this was a lesson learned the first time 🙂

    Reply

  2. Lynn D. Morrissey
    Sunday, April 15, 2018 @ 10:26 pm

    You’re singing my tune here, Floyd. I’m the Queen of Procrastination and God is speaking to me about it. I need to stop putting off answering Him! And I’m in a relational storm right now that is none too pleasant (and incidentally, am reading two books on the prophet Jonah, as God would have it, and listened last week to Dr. RC Sproul speak on the book of Jonah)…*and* happened to pull a book off my shelves by Gordon MacDonald, who talks about the storms of life… and now you! Procrastination causes needless storms and is preventable. Some storms aren’t. And you’re so right about spiritual preparation. God blesses us w/ that to help us weather life’s storms and survive them. I’m praying for His ability to overcome this relational storm and to stop putting off what I need to get done. Thanks for the encouragement.
    Love
    Lynn

    Reply

  3. bill (cycleguy)
    Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 3:04 am

    Excellent thoughts my friend. The parable is true. Sadly, for me it is very telling. I almost waited too long to get things straightened around but I’m grateful God has a way of discipline that is both loving and meaningful. Time in the word and prayer. That’d be me needing it; that’d be Him calling me. Thanks for the good reminder my friend.

    Reply

  4. Martha Orlando
    Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 7:45 am

    Excellent analogy, Floyd! Yes, let us clean up and straighten out our spiritual lives so when the storms of life hit, and they will, we are prepared to find shelter in the arms of our Lord.
    Blessings!

    Reply

  5. Hazel Moon
    Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 3:02 pm

    Seems like there is always a storm of some kind, no matter season in life. I had a fallen tree a week ago, and my daughter Nancy called a tree man who makes emergency calls. A few $$$ later two trees were down and cut up into wood, leaves were chipped to help keep weeds down. Relationships are harder to repair, even when seemingly taken care of early. Bitterness can remain for quite some time. May all your storms pass over quickly and may clean up be quick and easy without Larry, ants and spiders making things worse.

    Reply

  6. Lisa notes
    Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 6:20 pm

    Such a great application, Floyd. I do volunteer work with our local disaster response team. I’m amazed at how quickly people are willing to respond to clean up other people’s yards who have been hit hard. Maybe it’s just our own messes that we are more reluctant to clean up, especially when it comes to the inside jobs?

    Reply

  7. Betty Draper
    Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 7:56 pm

    Excellent post brother. I am with Hazel, relationship are harder to clean up after a storm goes through them. Some never get cleaned up on this side of heaven. I am more of an procrastinator now since I got older and have more time on my hands than I ever did. I would like to think I am wiser and know what is important and what is not, but I think I am fooling myself.

    Reply

  8. Cheryl
    Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 10:52 pm

    Wonderful thoughts, brother. Sometimes, the aftermath of a storm is nearly as bad as the storm itself…maybe worse, and you are so right, it is just best to clean it up right away and prevent further problems. God bless you. I am praying for you.

    Reply

  9. Betty Jo
    Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

    What a good life lesson, Floyd. I can be a procrastinator at times. The Holy Spirit has a way of nudging me into action though. I’m so thankful for His guidance and that He doesn’t leave me to my own ways.

    Reply

  10. Betty Draper
    Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 5:13 pm

    Our pastor use to ask, “are you prayed up” for the next storm, what did you learn that would you through it?
    It seems I am learning the same lessons over and over but they repetition is the best teacher. Good post brother.

    Reply

Leave a Reply