Wednesday, November 28, 2012


“While living in South Florida, I considered hurricanes to be mistakes of nature. However, I soon discovered hurricanes are necessary to maintain a balance in the environment….”
 I copied and pasted this paragraph recently so I could ponder it some more.  I hated to remark on it while Sandy was so in the forefront of our minds. Unfortunately, I didn’t copy the source, so I can’t give credit for who is speaking here.  But I want to write about it anyway.  I find I need to regularly be reminded of the value of the hurricanes God allows to wreak havoc in my life.
“We all know the devastation these monstrous storms can cause, yet scientists tell us that hurricanes are also tremendously valuable because they reduce a large percentage of the oppressive heat that builds up at the equator. I haven’t looked up the etymology, but surely the word oppressive comes from the same root as pressure.  Heat – tension – friction – that results in pressure and oppression that builds and builds . . . yes, this feels very familiar.
“In fact, hurricanes are indirectly responsible for much of the rainfall in North and South America.”  Interesting how rain in moderate amounts, spread over a reasonable time span, is not only helpful but crucial.  We must have rain.  Living things can’t survive without it.  But it is more beneficial when it comes as a long-term drizzle than as a torrential downpour.  The drizzle can be emotionally draining, but the earth needs time to soak in the moisture a little at a time to make use of it.  I’m trying to learn to accept rain in my life in drizzle format so it can do its work.
On the other hand, there is a cleansing quality to the torrential downpour.  Every spring in New Jersey, there was a massive pollen dump one day that left an ugly dusting of yellow powdery gunk all over everything outdoors.  It really freaked me out the first time I saw it.  Within a couple years, I learned that the only way to completely get rid of it was a good hard rain.
 “Meteorologists no longer use cloud-seeding techniques to prevent hurricanes from being formed because they are convinced that hurricanes actually do more good than harm.”  Here’s where I suspect I run the danger of extending a metaphor too far.  Hurricanes, when they come, come only by God’s permission and with a purpose to accomplish.  But I won’t go so far as to encourage anyone not to try to prevent them from forming.  If one can find a less destructive way to release the oppressive heat, by all means, find it.  Accept the drizzle when you can, and avoid the storm.  The storm’s precipitation may help us grow, but the wind will always leave scars.
On the other hand, the wind can also make us strong . . . force us to grow deep, sustaining roots . . . shape us to fit our environment and thrive there . . . it makes us who we need to be.  God is perfectly capable of stopping the hurricane, but perhaps he sees the good that he can bring from it far better than we do.  No, I’m never going to stop trying to prevent hurricanes in my life.  But when they come – as they inevitably will – I will choose to get the benefit from them rather than lay down and allow them to break me.
And for the record – yes, friends, I’m well aware that this theme keeps cropping up in my posts.  J

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