Archives For Storm

candles

I’ve been thinking about candles a lot lately.

I’ve always thought there is something special about candles, something that makes them feel almost out of place in our world. They possess a ethereal quality which no other light-source has, and yet they are at their core very simple. They have one job – to provide light.

Yes – you can get fancy candles, multi-coloured candles and scented candles. But a candle, at heart, is meant to give light.

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Candles, however, have a lifespan which is defined. It is something that no one can change. You can spread out this lifespan by lighting the candle only rarely, but in the end it will only last for so long. At some point the light begins to flicker, the glow begins to fade and the shadows creep in.

The light is extinguished.

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Contrast this to the Light of the World. Contrast this to Jesus, God’s Son, the light who stepped down into darkness to rescue us. The light that shines in the darkness, the light which the darkness cannot overcome.

Sometimes it can feel as if the light of God is flickering in our lives, barely visible among the shadows. Sometimes it can feel as if the shadows are winning, as if they are enveloping the light for good.

But the beautiful truth of Jesus is that his light, his hope, his strength, will never go out. The darkness cannot extinguish it. No storm, wave or attack can overcome his light.

The light wins. Always.

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“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.

“From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.” J.R.R. Tolkien

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“We meet again, at the turn of the tide. A great storm is coming, but the tide has turned.” JRR Tolkien.

When I think about my relationship with God at the moment, the only way I can begin to describe it is with a roller coaster. Since I lost my job a few weeks ago, I’ve fluctuated between excitement and dread, hope and fear, expectation and resignation.

Some days I wake up and I’m fully confident that God and I are together on this adventure. I’m completely sure that he has the plans laid out for me, that it’s only a matter of time before he lets me know and we get on with living the dream.

But some days I wake up, and I get this feeling in my gut, this worry, concern, fear. That I don’t know what’s going on, and that I’m not sure God does either. It sounds stupid to say that, but that’s sometimes how it feels. It’s not how I feel, but it’s how the process feels.

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I’ve written about it here recently, but I can’t seem to get away from talking about storms at the moment. The last two weeks at church we’ve looked at Jesus leading his disciples into the boat and into the storm.

Christ leads them there.

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All of this comes together when I feel like God has forgotten what’s going on in my life. When Jesus was asleep on the boat in the midst of the storm (Matthew 8:23-27) he hadn’t forgotten the disciples. He hadn’t abandoned them.

They might have felt forgotten, felt like Jesus was ignoring them. But he wasn’t. He knew what he was doing.

That’s the truth I keep reminding myself of at the moment. God has not forgotten me and will not forget me. He does not and will not forget any one of us.

Through the highs and lows, his loves outshines the darkest darkness.

The approaching storm

August 28, 2012 — Leave a comment

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I sit and watch the storm approaching. Dark clouds drawing in, curtains blocking out the light. The wind picks up, blowing leaves around like helpless bits of rubbish caught up in something bigger than themselves.

The rain begins to fall, quietly and sporadically at first, then violently and without mercy. Plants bow at the power of the raindrops, which shatter on the ground, creating individual explosions.

The world has gone from a moment of calm to a moment of supreme chaos in a matter of minutes. The rain and wind attack the windows of houses, desperate to get in. Inside those houses sit people, all watching the storm, hoping the rain and wind stay out.

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In the middle of the storm, it is calm. A glimpse of peace amid a raging inferno. A moment of speechlessness, as the storm rages around but not within. The trees take respite, weary branches resting in a momentary relief.

Silence. Calm.

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I can’t stop thinking about storms at the moment. I can’t stop wondering why God leads us into them. Questioning why. It’s part of the journey, I know. But not a part I necessarily enjoy.

Nothing comes out of the storm unchanged in some way. Physically, mentally, emotionally – the storm changes us. As he guides us through the storm, God changes us.

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“Out of defeat can come the best in human nature. As Christians face storms of adversity, they may rise with more beauty. They are like trees that grow on mountain ridges — battered by winds, yet trees in which we find the strongest wood.” Billy Graham.