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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Lightning strikes!

Lightning struck the beaches in Southern California a couple of days ago, driving bathers inside to shelter from the incredibly unusual weather. Thunder and lightning rent the skies over northeastern Scotland that same night, awakening sleepers and at least at one home, causing a wild rush to pull the plugs on phones and computers before any damage could be done.

The heavy atmosphere before a thunderstorm can be so oppressive that it is a positive relief to hear those claps of thunder and see the flashes or arrows of light. Usually it clears the air, at least a little.

Sometimes the situations through which we walk and live oppress us. We find we have to do things we would prefer to avoid doing. We perhaps clash with others in our assessment of what should be done. The atmosphere can grow more and more oppressive and heavy and finally tempers flare, feelings are roared, and opinions expressed, landing like lightning bolts on relationships.

Life is tough. But it is also beautiful. The drama of a thunderstorm, the awesome power of nature, sets the heart pounding. Words spoken in love, though hard to say, also set the heart pounding and can burn or cut but in the end, new life emerges. Love is key. Without it, walking away from hard times is a definite option. With love, it never is, because however oppressive it feels, however sharp the lightning or loud the thunder, the aim is selfless.

The thunderstorm through which I am walking is such a one. We will all come out the other side, battered and bedraggled, but arm in arm. Someone famous has said that life is all about walking each other home. It is a privilege and a quiet joy to be able to do that for another person.

Like everything else, it is only possible as I remain in Jesus, relying on him, trusting in him, praying in the Spirit when words fail me and confusion reigns.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Just because it doesn't always look peaceful, calm and loving does not mean he isn't intimately involved. Whew.

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