The weather along Lake Michigan has been noticeably unsettled this summer, like a nervous groom before his wedding. We are missing the long stretch of sunny days under high barometric pressure that bring such deep blue skies and the warm assurance that winter is still far away.
What we need is a really good storm.
Of course, the weather takes special watchfulness in paddling situations. You don’t want to be caught out on the water in wind and lightning when a big blow rises up. It’s one of the rules of paddling: to pay attention to the signs and barometer when heading out.
Once on a paddle on the Au Train River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we got caught in a late afternoon storm. The lightning was too intense to safely shelter under the big trees that leaned over the water. Paddling furiously back upstream, we returned to hunker down under a bridge we had passed earlier. The fury of the storm flashed and crashed all around us as the wind was funneled under the bridge. Trees came down, and grasses were flattened while the sedate river of just minutes ago became a roiling, angry maelstrom in pure, unleashed cacophony.
Life is filled with unexpected blows.
Things are sunny and pleasant, and we loll happily in our unwary hours. Then out of the blue, the skies darken, the storm threatens, and we are caught unawares. Examples abound: the day of 9-11; a cancer diagnosis; an accident; a death. There seems nowhere to take shelter. Nowhere to turn. Nowhere to hide, or huddle. Life’s storms can be terrifying, and sometimes they pile up and train down on us one after another.
All I can say is that with perfect predictability, all storms pass. In our canoe, after 30 long minutes of hanging on by our fingertips to the overhead girders, the tempest grudgingly moved on, leaving the river to calm its nerves, the trees dripping with diamonds, and a permeating whiff of fresh-bathed forest in every direction- abrupt silence, achingly beautiful crystal lighting, and a newly-birthed loveliness.
God himself set up the physical laws that create storms. He also has his reasons for allowing them to roil our lives.
But, no matter what assails us, God works only good for those who love him. He is always for us, so that the storms of trouble and hardship cannot separate us from his love.
Not storms. Not evil. Not hate. Nothing high, nothing low, nothing in all of creation can separate us from how much God loves us.* The most oft-written phrase in the Bible is,
“Do not be afraid.”
In a storm? Let God be your bridge. Your shelter. Your hope. It’s going to be all right. Don’t be afraid. Just hang on and let it blow.
* loose paraphrase of Romans chapter 8 in the Bible
5 thoughts on “It’s Going to be All Right”
Thank you, I read this this morning. I am grieving as my precious sister is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Our died of the same cancer, At very close to the same age as my sister is right now. We are devastated. This is a Maelstrom, a storm like no other. I want to believe and feel better by the truths you wrote in your article. But I must say that I am struggling. I just keep asking God to help her and help me, but the pain of the situation and the road ahead of us is dark and Bleak to me. But I will keep exposing myself to good things to help me get through.
My first comment above is missing the word mother, our mother died of the same cancer…
I have been praying over you and your sister. So have many others. We have to trust God in the midst of our pain-both physical and emotional- that he means what he says, that nothing, not even death, can separate us from his love. As believers, we also have to trust that sickness and sometimes death, and an earthly separation from a loved one is the road he has put us on. Jesus didn’t want to face it either, so we know it is all right to feel the bleakness, and mourn the suffering. But, I know for certain that what awaits us is too wonderful to explain. That doesn’t make the struggle inconsequential, but should at least give hope and peace. May God’s peace rule in your hearts. JW
Thank you for the prayers. I know God is strengthening us and helping Jeannette to keep faith despite being very sick after her chemo treatment last week… the only way to get through is one day at a time. I don’t worry about being separated from God’s love . I believe what you said about that. But the pain of separation and the grief of watching a loved one suffer with illness and then die is quintessentially horrible. And of course it does not feel like love from God.
i apologize for the double posting of my first comment. If I could remove the Third 1 which is a duplicate of the first one, I would, but I don’t know how.
Thank you, I read this this morning. I am grieving as my precious sister is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Our mother died of the same cancer, At very close to the same age as my sister is right now. We are devastated. This is a Maelstrom, a storm like no other. I want to believe and feel better by the truths you wrote in your article. But I must say that I am struggling. I just keep asking God to help her and help me, but the pain of the situation and the road ahead of us is dark and Bleak to me. But I will keep exposing myself to good things to help me get through.