I love to walk on the beach. Ocean breezes brush across my face, tousle my hair, and fill my lungs with clean salt air. One after another, the waves roll in and crash against the shore, scattering the shorebirds, who dart in and out of the water searching the sand for food. The pelicans glide just above the water looking for the perfect catch, before diving headfirst into the waves. Yes, I love to walk on the beach. It quiets my mind, refreshes my soul, and makes me feel closer to the One who created it all. At least that’s how it feels on a fair weather day.
I have also walked on the beach when a major storm was brewing. It didn’t feel the same. Dark clouds gathered in the distance and loomed ominously as they made their way closer to where I was walking. The gentle breezes turned into gusty winds and the sand joined the salty air as it pelted against my skin. I turned my face downward to protect my eyes from the wind and an interesting thought crossed my mind. While I was protecting myself from the wind, I could no longer see what was around me. I couldn’t see the waves, or the birds, or my husband, who was walking beside me. I couldn’t even see where I was going. I needed to look up to find my way back to a place of safety.
I stopped for a moment and turned to see the birds gathering together on the sand. They were flying in from all directions and huddling together in a large group. And they were all facing directly into the wind. They weren’t looking away. They were preparing to face the storm head-on as a community.
As I continued to walk, I couldn’t help thinking that there were some important lessons to be learned from what I was experiencing and observing, with the sky getting darker and the storm getting closer every minute. Was God whispering some truths to me in the midst of the howling wind?
First of all, I need to remember to look up when storms loom over me. When life is difficult and trying, I need to fix my gaze on Jesus, so that He can guide me to a place of safety. He will provide a way through life’s hurts and hardships, if I will let Him lead me through the storms.
Secondly, like the birds, I need community. I need to fellowship and worship with others as we prepare to face, head-on, whatever storms may come our way. I need brothers and sisters in Christ, who will gather around me so that I never have to face my storms alone. And I need to be willing to huddle with someone else when she/he is facing a stormy season of life. Together, with Christ leading the way, we can weather any storm.
What are your thoughts? How do you face the storms that enter your life?