Friday, August 31, 2012

Overcoming the Storms in Life and Celebrating the Recovery

{photo courtesy of }
When our nephew Aaron died  in October 2008, we were made aware of Celebrate Recovery which helped Mark's oldest brother and his family through this very tough storm in their lives.

This paticular storm encircled their family for years. It lashed, it bruised, it hurt, it quaked, it beat at them.

Today's sharing at Celebrate Recovery makes reference to our most recent hurricane and the effect storms have in our lives:

"Storms are a fact of life. And in Louisiana, as well as the rest of the Gulf Coast, we are prepared for them. We still don't like them. They take people and things that are precious to us away. We wonder how we will ever go on? And that's when I wonder, how do people make it without a faith in someone greater than themselves? Because one fact remains, as constant as the storms, the clean up will...begin and life must go on.

"Just like in our lives, there are people who are nowhere near the weather-related storms, but storms in their own personal lives are reeking just as much havoc. And that's where a faith in someone greater than themselves is the only way to survive with any quality of life.

"So whenever you have a moment to pause today, please remember the people in the path of Isaac. And also remember the people who have personal storms going on in their lives today as well in your prayers. Thank you, Jesus, for the strength to overcome the storms that come our way."

~ Mac Natl. Dir. West
 * * * * *
Aaron's death was, in a weird sort of way, God's hand vanquishing the gales and winds and pelting rain and calming the storm. In the storm's aftermath, the family looked around and it was not the outcome they had hoped for, it was not the healing they had desired, it was not the calming they had prayed for. They were left with the aftermath of death, the havoc of emotions, the messiness of loss, and the clean-up of the lives left behind. They didn't like it.

Some might even say the prayers of Aaron's family were not answered.

That's where faith comes in. Sometimes faith is the only thing left standing after a storm.

My father's experience in the Korean War makes him comment often, "You will never find an atheist inside a foxhole."

Let's expand that to include, "You will never find an atheist inside a storm."

We hate storms and the destruction they leave behind. No doubt about it. Without faith we never rebuild.

If we don't have faith in a God bigger, better, and stronger than ourselves then we are indeed flying without wings and flying without wings is a foolish way to fly.

Storms are a fact of life. We cannot outrun them. They visit all of us.

Do we prepare the house of our soul for them? Do we wrap ourselves in the safety net of Scripture? Do we anoint our wings with prayer and sacraments so they will be subtle and flexible enough to fly above life's storms?

It is in our best interest to do so. We must do our best to rise above the clouds so as to find the hidden message within.

If we cannot look beyond and above the storms of life, we will forever live inside of one.

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