Weathering the Storms

Credit: cjohnson7/Used with permission.

My husband Jeff is an air traffic controller at an enroute center. What that means is he works in a big dark room with a couple hundred radar scopes with green blips representing airplanes. The air traffic between airports is managed by the controllers sitting in front of those scopes.

The months of May through August are the hardest months to be an air traffic controller at an enroute center, because that’s when the most storms occur. It’s known as SWAP season. SWAP stands for Severe Weather Avoidance Plan.

The controllers do their best to guide planes around the severe weather. Remember that the next time your plane's takeoff is delayed . . . you’re probably happier sitting in a cramped airplane on the ground than one in the middle of a thunder storm in the air! 

But sometimes the storm is unavoidable, and the plane must fly through it.

Storms are a rich and often used analogy for the Christian life. In the Bible, there are numerous stories of storms. I appreciate that, because the longer I live the more it seems storms are the rule than the exception.

This morning I was reading about the biggest storm of all . . . the flood in Genesis. It’s a familiar story, but what struck me was that Noah was 600 years old when the flood came! 

Though rain had never fallen, I can’t help but wonder how many “storms” Noah had already encountered in his lonnnnng life! 

I want to live long. I used to tell my kids that I planned to live till 105. But after my mom’s death, I decided I’d leave the length in God’s hands (since it is anyway) and make my goal to live all the days I’m given well.

But 600 years?! I don’t think my soul could weather a life’s portion of that many storms.

I’m not even halfway to 100, and my body feels like it’s giving out on me many days. My soul gets weary and wonders how to face another twenty-four. Some days (and long nights) the storms feel like they’re going to take me right under.

And then I remember . . . “The wind and waves still know your name.”

Our Father made the storms. 

His Son silenced them. 

And as His children, we weather the storms of life best when our eyes are fixed on Him.

Today, your storm may be threatening clouds on the horizon, thunder and lightning in your present circumstances, or a raging flood in your soul. In the face of life's storms, there's another "cloud" we need to remember.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, . . .

And whatever form your storm takes, I encourage you to make this your Severe Weather Avoidance Plan . . . 

. . . fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:1-2

Because whether His plan is to take you around or straight through, He is the best one to navigate your storms.