18/05/2022 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
The Calm After The Storm
As seen in the HEARTbeat and Village Voice
I’ve grown up in multiple places having moved every two to three years as a child. There are many things I remember, having taken the most memorable occurrences from each place and woven them into a wonderful tapestry. Memories from Germany, California, Missouri, Texas and Arkansas make up my childhood, but none more strong and more numerous than from a little town in western Arkansas called Greenwood.
During the Springtime of the year, my mind goes back to my parents’ home in Greenwood. It was the first home I had lived in that had an attic fan. During the Spring, the storms would roll through the area. Being on the western side of the state, the town’s location made it close to the classic area known as “Tornado Alley” where the predominance of tornados occur each year. When a tornado warning sounded nearby, the family would confine ourselves to the basement until the storm had passed and we could return to the living area upstairs.
Most of the storms would occur in the evening time. By the time we were able to leave our place of safety, it would be time for bed. There was a noticeable change in the air, a coolness and a perfume smell from the honeysuckle in the field next door. We would open the windows in the bedrooms and Dad would turn on the attic fan. The rain-cooled breeze would be pulled across my bed and down the hallway. I can remember lying in bed after the storms had passed listening to the rhythm of the attic fan motor. From the outside came a familiar song, one that signaled the storm had passed. This song came from a whippoorwill. It would sing for hours telling everyone it was safe for another night.
We worry when storms are spawned during this time of year, but we almost expect them. What is our reaction when storms arise in our lives that are unexpected? Do we fight with all we have? Do we refuse to waiver on our path to the goal? If so, we are no different than Jesus’ disciples.
After Jesus fed the 5,000, He sent the disciples ahead in the boat to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. While on the water, a storm blew up quickly. What did the experienced fishermen do? They paddled even harder, directly into the storm, not changing their course at all. Just before dawn, Jesus came upon them in the boat as He was walking on the water, and joined them in the boat. He said, “Peace, be still” and the wind and the waves ceased.
Did Jesus silence the storm with His words or was He talking to the disciples? Maybe there was a little of both. So many times, we enter a storm in our life and fight hard against it. We need to have peace, be still, and listen for the whippoorwill to signal the storm is over, and to enjoy the coolness of the presence of Christ as He pulls us through any storm we will see.