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Saturday, 6 June 2015

More Stormy Weather

Wild winds whip the blossom right off the trees. A storm rages outside as if it were autumn, winter or spring. 

But no! It’s supposed to be summer, isn’t it? More like balmy breezes and the sweet smell of the blossom-laden fruit trees.

I’ve noticed that nature doesn’t necessarily adhere to a rule-book. In fact, as we proceed down our reckless wrecking of the planet, the weather is more often ‘off piste’ than on. A few drops of rain fell on drought-stricken southern California last week, nearly three months after the official end of the rainy season on March 15th. Didn’t anybody tell the clouds how late they were in turning up? 

Well, it’s a fitting finish to a stormy week in our experience, too. Between an operation with a protracted outcome and fears and disappointments attending that, and a case of facial shingles pock-marking a beloved 90-year-old face, and a nagging toothache culminating in root canal treatment yesterday, the storm has buffeted and punched us from all directions. 

But, despite being rather punch-drunk and with a numbed and drooping upper lip, we joined in the joy of a young couple at their wedding and tonight head for a celebration of a birthday. Rainbows through the rain.

I’ve just spent some time reading Acts 27 and it is all about a storm which didn’t only rage but eventually sank the ship. What struck me, amongst many things, was that Paul, who was a prisoner on board, was permitted to go ashore before there was any sign of a storm, in order to say goodbye to some of his friends and also to get the necessary provisions for the journey from them. It is at times when we are heading into the storms, or when we are in the midst of storms, that we need to rely on the kindness and generosity of friends and family. Some people are reluctant to accept help from others, but to refuse help is to deny the others the chance to be blessed as they gather round and provide.

Jesus promises never to leave nor forsake us. He is in us in the boat throughout the storms of life, though he may be asleep because he has faith in the outcome. God is good, all the time. His love never ends and his provision, either given divinely or through the human hands of others, never fails.

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