My cell phone has a strident alert feature announcing severe weather. It startles me, sending little shivers up my back in terror of some impending calamity.
Nature sends us more subtle warnings that signal a change in the weather: a darkening sky, cumulonimbusclouds gathering on the horizon, the distant rumble of thunder, and maple leaves turning to show their silvery bellies to the rising wind.
Life seldom offers a warning with its disasters. They arrive with no notice at all: a 2am phone call, a sudden trip to the emergency room, the blinding lights of a car that has crossed the median barrier, or the test that came back positive, against all odds.
During severe weather, we seek shelter, a roof over our heads, a jacket as protection from the rain, a candle to thwart a power failure, a friend to talk to, and if we’re lucky, a cup of hot tea. Oddly enough those same things often see us through life disasters. There is comfort in companionship, a hug, a hand to hold, hot tea, and something soft and warm around our shoulders.
Before the rain, we don’t know for sure what awaits us, how severe the disaster may be, and how strictly we may have to adjust our lifestyles. It is impossible to predict the extent of the damage even with the most precise radar and weather forecasts.
With life’s disasters things are even less certain. We hope to weather storms with calm and composure but we don’t know how we will react until the time comes. Then, we can only depend on the comfort of friends and family and the promise of God’s faithfulness in spite of everything life throws at us.